Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy: A suggested approach to trace metal analysis in marine environments


Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy analysis of marine samples from different environments appears to differentiate between adsorbed and structural Mn (II) and Fe (III) sites in the sediment. This suggests that EPR may provide a means of distinguishing different environmental influences on sediment. Acid extract solutions from sediment samples exhibit clearly defined EPR spectra due to Mn(II), Ti(III), Fe(III), and VO(IV), which are amenable to qualitative and quantitative analysis at concentrations below one part per million. Spectra of several shellfish vary considerably, both between species, and within a species, depending on sampling localities. Resonances from Mn(II), Mo(V), and Fe(III) can be obtained. Mn(II) is substituted for Ca(II) in the calcite structure of some shells.

The low detection limits, small sample size, required and identification of oxidation states by EPR complement other analytical techniques and may prove useful in marine systems.

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Environmental Geology

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