Integrating Cavity Absorption Meter measurements of dissolved substances and suspended particles in ocean water Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • We have developed a new device to measure the separate contributions to the spectral absorption coefficient due to a pure liquid, due to the particles suspended in it, and due to the substances dissolved in it. This device, the Integrating Cavity Absorption Meter (ICAM), is essentially independent of scattering effects in the sample. In April 1993, a prototype of the ICAM was field tested on board the research vessel USNS Bartlett. A major part of the cruise track included criss-crossing the area where the Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico at various ranges from the mouth of the river; thus samples were collected from areas of blue, green, and brown/black water. We evaluated 35 seawater samples collected with 5-1 Niskin bottles from 22 locations to determine absorption spectra (380-700 nm) of suspended particles and dissolved substances (gelbstoff). Results validate the ICAM as a viable tool for marine optical absorption research. Gelbstoff absorption at 432.5 nm ranged from 0.024 to 0.603 m-1. Over the spectral region 380 → 560 nm, gelbstoff absorption by each of the samples could be accurately fit to a decaying exponential. The particle absorption spectra are generally characteristic of those of phytoplankton and exhibit a local maximum at 430-440 nm. Absorption values at 432.5 nm ranged from ~ zero to ~1.0 m-1. Some samples with moderate particulate absorption, however, did not show the characteristic local maximum of phytoplankton in the blue and instead resembled the characteristic decaying exponential of detritus with a shape similar to that observed in the gelbstoff. The ratio of gelbstoff to particulate absorption at 432.5 nm ranged from 0.46 to 152.

author list (cited authors)

  • Pope, R. M., Weidemann, A. D., & Fry, E. S

complete list of authors

  • Pope, Robin M||Weidemann, Alan D||Fry, Edward S

publication date

  • January 1, 2000 11:11 AM