Letter | Published:

Ultra-violet Absorption of Sea Water

Naturevolume 192pages858859 (1961) | Download Citation



IT has been shown that at wave-lengths less than 230 mµ., the absorbency of sea water is about double that of a solution containing the same concentration of inorganic salts1,2. We ascribe the difference to the presence of organic matter which may be the same as the blue-absorbent substances named “Gelbstoff” by Kalle3. We have found regional differences in the east Atlantic and English Channel, high ultra-violet absorbencies usually being characteristic of coastal water2. This property may be used in hydrographic surveys, and for this purpose we have measured the absorbencies of filtered samples at 220 mµ, using a 10-cm. cuvette in a Unicam S.P.500 spectrophotometer.

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  1. 1

    Chanu, J., Rev. Opt. (théor. instrum.), 38, 569 (1959).

  2. 2

    Armstrong, F. A. J., and Boalch, G. T., J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K., 41, 591 (1961).

  3. 3

    Kalle, K., Ann. Hydrog. (Berl.), 65, 276 (1937).

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  1. G. T. BOALCH: International Paints Research Fellow.


  1. Marine Biological Association, Citadel Hill, Plymouth

    • F. A. J. ARMSTRONG
    •  & G. T. BOALCH


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