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Spectral absorption properties of natural waters contribution of the soluble and particulate fractions to light absorption in some inland waters of southeastern australia


, : Spectral absorption properties of natural waters contribution of the soluble and particulate fractions to light absorption in some inland waters of southeastern australia. Australian Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research 31(3): 287-296

A method was developed for measuring the absorption spectra, and calculating the in situ absorption coefficients, of the particulate fraction (tripton/phytoplankton) of natural waters. The procedure involves concentrating the particulate fraction by filtration followed by resuspension in a smaller volume, and measuring the absorption spectrum with the help of an integrating sphere to minimize the effects of light scattering. The method was applied to 7 inland water bodies in the southern tablelands of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. For comparative purposes the absorption spectra, and in situ absorption coefficients, of the soluble coloring matter (gilvin, gelbstoff) were also measured. The absorption coefficients were used to calculate what part of the total absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) is captured by each of the 3 major absorbing components. In clear but colored waters, gilvin absorbs most of the quanta, followed by water itself. In 2 waters with fairly high phytoplankton levels, the particulate fraction absorbs as much PAR as the water, but gilvin still absorbs rather more than either. In highly turbid waters, the particulate fraction (consisting mainly of tripton) absorbs most of the quanta. The data show that tripton has an absorption spectrum in the visible region which rises steadily with decreasing wavelength: this is attributed to humic materials. In turbid waters the inanimate particulate fraction (tripton) is a major light absorber, in addition to being the most important light scatterer.

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