, Volume 632, Issue 1, pp 91-105
Date: 15 Jun 2009

Specific attenuation coefficients of optically active substances and their contribution to the underwater ultraviolet and visible light climate in shallow lakes and ponds

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Sunlight penetration through the water column is controlled by the amount and kind of materials dissolved and suspended in the water. Understanding UV penetration in its complexity is essential for the prediction of the impact of UV radiation on aquatic ecosystems. However, only limited data are available on the penetration of UVR into shallow waters rich in inorganic suspended solids and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). The same is true for the specific attenuation coefficients of light-absorbing components at the UV waveband. This study analyses the role of CDOM, algal-free suspended solids and algae in the formation of underwater UVR and PAR climate in 30 water bodies from clear gravel pit lakes trough the shallow Lake Balaton to turbid soda pans. Irradiance-depth profiles were obtained at 305, 313, 320 nm (UV-B), 340, 380, 395 nm (UV-A) and 400–700 nm (PAR) with a Biospherical PUV-2500 radiometer. Vertical attenuation coefficients (K d) were calculated. Water samples were taken for the laboratory measurement of the concentration of light-absorbing components: algae as chlorophyll a (CHL), chromophoric dissolved organic matter as colour (CDOM), and algal-free suspended solids (TSS-Alg) parallel with the in situ light measurements. Specific attenuation coefficient values were calculated by multiple regression analysis (n = 140). The obtained specific UV attenuation coefficient values of CHL, CDOM and TSS-Alg made it possible to establish light attenuation at different wavelengths based on the knowledge of the concentration of these light-absorbing components.