Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 10 (2015)

Modification of optical properties of seawater exposed to oil contaminants based on excitation-emission spectra

E. Baszanowska, Z. Otremba


The optical behaviour of seawater exposed to a residual amount of oil pollution is presented and a comparison of the fluorescence spectra of oil dissolved in both n-hexane and seawater is discussed based on excitation-emission spectra.

Crude oil extracted from the southern part of the Baltic Sea was used to characterise petroleum properties after contact with seawater. The wavelength-independent fluorescence maximum for natural seawater and seawater artificially polluted with oil were determined. Moreover, the specific excitation-emission peaks for natural seawater and polluted water were analysed to identify the natural organic matter composition. It was found that fluorescence spectra identification is a promising method to detect even an extremely low concentration of petroleum residues directly in the seawater. In addition, alien substances disturbing the fluorescence signatures of natural organic substances in a marine environment is also discussed.


© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2015.15047]

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