Relating dissolved organic matter fluorescence and functional properties

Andrew Baker, E Tipping, SA Thacker, D Gondar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Citations (Scopus)


The fluorescence excitation-emission matrix properties of 25 dissolved organic matter samples from three rivers and one lake are analysed. All sites are sampled in duplicate, and the 25 samples include ten taken from the lake site, and nine from one of the rivers, to cover variations in dissolved organic matter composition due to season and river flow. Fluorescence properties are compared to the functional properties of the dissolved organic matter; the functional assays provide quantitative information on photochemical fading, buffering capacity, copper binding, benzo[a]pyrene binding, hydrophilicity and adsorption to alumina. Optical (absorbance and fluorescence) characterization of the dissolved organic matter samples demonstrates that (1) peak C (excitation 300-350 nm; emission 400-460 nm) fluorescence emission wavelength; (2) the ratio of peak T (excitation 220-235 nm; emission 330-370 nm) to peak C fluorescence intensity; and (3) the peak C fluorescence intensity: absorbance at 340 nm ratio have strong correlations with many of the functional assays. Strongest correlations are with benzo[a]pyrene binding, alumina adsorption, hydrophilicity and buffering capacity, and in many cases linear regression equations with a correlation coefficient >0.8 are obtained. These optical properties are independent of freshwater dissolved organic carbon concentration (for concentrations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1765-1772
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Fluorescence
  • Dissolved organic matter
  • Absorbance
  • Geochemical function


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