The Effect Of Uv Radiation On Surface Waters

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1. Introduction Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) is an optically active component of total dissolved organic matter (DOM), absorbing light strongly in the UV and visible spectral range, hence influencing light availability in the aquatic environments [1]. Although CDOM protects marine biota from the harmful effects of UV radiation in surface waters [2], it can also adversely affect primary production and the ecosystem health by reducing the quality and the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) to phytoplankton [3,4]. In estuarine environments, CDOM is primarily of terrestrial origin and is characterized by the presence of humic acid produced by bacterial decomposition of plant litter, animals and organically rich soils [5], whereas in-situ production of CDOM by bacterial and viral decomposition, excretion, grazing, and primary production dominates in oceanic waters [6-9]. Coastal bays are important transition zones between marine and terrigenous environments supplying elevated amounts of sediments, dissolved organic matter, and nutrients to the coastal waters, making them optically complex and challenging for ocean color remote sensing applications. For example, previous studies [8,10-12] have attributed errors in satellite-based estimates of chlorophyll-a to elevated levels of CDOM in coastal waters. Barataria Bay together with the neighboring Timbalier-Terrebone Bay system has been designated as one of the 28 estuaries of natural significance by the

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