Organic matter source discrimination by humic acid characterization: synchronous scan fluorescence spectroscopy and Ferrate(VI). Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, seven soil and sedimentary humic acid samples were analyzed by synchronous scan fluorescence (SSF) spectroscopy. The spectra of these humic acids were compared to each other and characterized, based on three major SSF peaks centered at approximately 281, 367 and 470 nm. Intensity ratios were calculated based on these peaks that were used to numerically assist in source discrimination. All humic acid samples were then reacted with Ferrate(VI) and were again analyzed with SSF. Upon the addition of Ferrate(VI) SSF spectra were obtained which more readily differentiated humic acid source. This method will assist geochemists and water management districts in tracing sources of organic matter to receiving water bodies and may aid in the elucidation of the chemical nature of humic acids.

published proceedings

  • Chemosphere

author list (cited authors)

  • Horst, C., Sharma, V. K., Baum, J. C., & Sohn, M.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Horst, Carolyn||Sharma, Virender K||Baum, J Clayton||Sohn, Mary

publication date

  • February 2013