Linking the optical properties of DOM to its characteristics and origins (LOCO) (39010)

Project Details


The majority of organic carbon in the ocean exists as dissolved organic matter (DOM). A fraction of DOM absorbs ultra violet (UV) and visible light, while a specific subset of this subsequently exhibits a natural fluorescence. These spectroscopic properties can be used as markers for the turnover of different DOM fractions in the ocean.

This project will link the UV-visible characteristics (optical properties) of DOM to its chemical structure. The results will lead to the capacity for widespread proxy measurements of DOM chemical properties estimated from its optical properties, and the ability to trace the production of both new “reactive” DOM and the humification processes that lead to the production of the bio-refractory DOM pool.

An international team of scientists from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany and USA will collaborate to forge links (calibrate) between the optical properties of DOM to its chemical characteristics which will pave the way for new insights into the fate of terrestrial DOM in marine environments and the role of DOM in the global carbon cycle.


National Institut of Aquatic Resources, DTU Aqua (coordinator)

Lund University, Sweden

Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany

North Carolina State University, USA


The project is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research.

Research area: Oceanography
Effective start/end date01/06/201331/05/2016


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