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Technical Note: Comparison of storage strategies for surface microlayer samples

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Klaus Schneider-Zapp, Dr Matthew Salter, Paul Mann, Professor Robert Upstill-GoddardORCiD


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The sea surface microlayer (SML) is an important biogeochemical system whose physico-chemical analysis often necessitates some degree of sample storage. However, many SML components degrade with time so the development of optimal storage protocols is paramount. We here briefly review some commonly used treatment and storage protocols. Using freshwater and saline SML samples from a river estuary, we investigated temporal changes in surfactant activity (SA) and the absorbance and fluorescence of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) over four weeks, following selected sample treatment and storage protocols. Some variability in the effectiveness of individual protocols most likely reflects sample provenance. None of the various protocols examined performed any better than dark storage at 4 °C without pre-treatment. We therefore recommend storing samples refrigerated in the dark.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Schneider-Zapp K, Salter ME, Mann PJ, Upstill-Goddard RC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biogeosciences

Year: 2013

Volume: 10

Issue: 7

Pages: 4927-4936

Print publication date: 22/07/2013

ISSN (print): 1810-6277

ISSN (electronic): 1810-6285

Publisher: Copernicus


DOI: 10.5194/bg-10-4927-2013


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Funder referenceFunder name
German Research Foundation (DFG)
School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University
NE/IO15299/1UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)