Photochemical Transformations Induced by Solar Ultraviolet Radiation in Marine Ecosystems

  • Richard G. Zepp
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 7)


Various human activities during the past three decades have greatly increased the amounts of chemicals discharged into marine ecosystems. The dumping of hazardous chemicals into the ocean is likely to further increase in the near future as a response to mounting public concern over the use of landfills for such disposal. Oil spills and rainout of chemicals from the atmosphere represent other significant sources of chemical pollutants in the open ocean. To adequately assess the hazard of pollutants to aquatic organisms, toxicity data must be accompanied by analytical data concerning concentrations of pollutants or by some rational estimate of the concentrations in ecosystems that have not been analyzed. To make such estimates, computer models have been developed that utilize equations and data concerning rates and equilibria of various transport and transformation processes that affect the concentrations of chemicals. Processes considered in such models include microbial, thermal, and photochemical transformations as well as dilution, volatilization, and sorption to sediments and biota. Although these models have been developed specifically for discharges into freshwater systems, this approach could be applied to marine ecosystems with equivalent results.


Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Humic Substance Marine Ecosystem Direct Photolysis Photochemical Transformation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard G. Zepp
    • 1
  1. 1.U. S. Environmental Protection AgencyEnvironmental Research LaboratoryAthensGreece

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