Correcting the Errors from Variable Sea Salt Retention and Water of Hydration in Loss on Ignition Analysis: Implications for Studies of Estuarine and Coastal Waters

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Robert H. Stavn, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The standard technique of determining the concentrations of total suspended solids (TSSs), particulate inorganic matter (PIM), and particulate organic matter (POM) by filtration with glass fiber filters is subject to an error or bias from sea salt plus water of hydration retention, when applied to saline waters. The sea salt plus water of hydration retention by the filters occurs even after washing the filter with 300 ml of deionized water, a greater volume than any wash recommended in the literature. We determined that the mass retention on a glass fiber filter, at a given salinity, is essentially constant, no matter the volume of seawater passed through the filter. We also determined that the sea salt plus water of hydration retention on glass fiber filters is directly proportional to the salinity of the seawater filtered. Sea salt plus water of hydration retention causes an overestimate of TSS; sea salt retention causes an overestimate of PIM; volatilization of water of hydration causes an overestimate of POM. Thus a correction curve is required for sea salt and water of hydration errors in the determination of TSS and PIM. Corrected POM comes from the difference between the two. Also, filter blanks (procedural control filters), run with deionized (DI) water rather than the seawater sample, are required to correct for possible filter mass loss during the analysis. We demonstrate correction curves for sea salt plus water of hydration retention for Whatman GF/F filters, 47 mm diameter, utilizing the methods of the APHA Manual, Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Application of other glass fiber filter types or an analytical technique differing significantly from that employed here requires a different correction curve for retention of sea salt and water of hydration. These methods can be used to reanalyze older data on PIM, POM, and TSS. We apply these corrections to PIM and POM data from the northern Gulf of Mexico and examine the interactions of these filter corrections with corrections for structural water volatilization from suspended clay minerals in the determinations of PIM and POM. We analyze published data on PIM and POM determinations and their application to remote sensing. We conclude that sea salt and water of hydration retention on filters has an adverse effect on remote-sensing algorithms inverting radiance reflectance to estimate concentrations of suspended matter.

Additional Information

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 81(4), 575-582
Language: English
Date: 2009
gravimetric techniques, analytical errors, suspended inorganic matter, suspended organic matter, loss of ignition, glass fiber filters, remote sensing, USA, Alabama, Mobile Bay

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