Aquatic Sciences

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 70–80 | Cite as

On the use of UV spectrophotometry to assess dissolved organic carbon origin variations in the Upper Rhône River

  • J. C. Rostan
  • B. Cellot


To detect temporal changes and the origin of the refractory dissolved organic matter in the Upper Rhône River, UV light absorbance (A) at 285 nm and quantitative dissolved organic carbon (DOC) measurements were carried out. Data from 63 visits to the main channel over a period of two years and from visits to different waterbodies in the alluvial plain before and after a flood are presented. There was a good correlation between A (0.019–0.160) and the DOC content (1.40–9.81 mg/L) for the waterbodies, but not for the river axis with lower A (0.013–0.044) and DOC content (1.13–2.20 mg/L). Due to this good correlation, the DOC content could be quantified for the waterbodies by absorbance measurements only. For the river water this indirect determination of the DOC content was not possible. However, the A/DOC ratio showed changes in the composition of DOC of river water and provided indications about the origin of the dissolved organic matter in the Upper Rhône River.

Key words

Dissolved organic carbon UV spectrophotometry A/DOC ratio Rhône River 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Rostan
    • 1
  • B. Cellot
    • 1
  1. 1.URA CNRS 1451 Ecologie des Eaux douces et des Grands FleuvesUniversité C. Bernard-Lyon 1Villeurbanne CedexFrance

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