Prediction of Photochemically Produced Reactive Intermediates in Surface Waters via Satellite Remote Sensing

Yiling Chen, Raymond M. Hozalski, Leif G. Olmanson, Benjamin P. Page, Jacques C. Finlay, Patrick L. Brezonik, William A. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Absorption of solar radiation by colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in surface waters results in the formation of photochemically produced reactive intermediates (PPRIs) that react with pollutants in water. Knowing the steady-state concentrations of PPRIs ([PPRI]ss) is critical to predicting the persistence of pollutants in sunlit surface waters. CDOM levels (a440) can be measured remotely for lakes over large areas using satellite imagery. Laboratory measurements of [PPRI]ss and apparent quantum yields (φ) of three PPRIs (3DOM*, 1O2, and •OH) were made for 24 lake samples under simulated sunlight. The total rate of light absorption by the water samples (Ra), the rates of formation (Rf), and [PPRI]ss of 3DOM∗ and 1O2 linearly increased with increasing a440. The production rate of •OH was linearly correlated with a440, but the steady-state concentration was best fit by a logarithmic function. The relationship between measured a440 and Landsat 8 reflectance was used to map a440 for more than 10 000 lakes across Minnesota. Relationships of a440 with Rf, [PPRIs]ss, and Ra were coupled with satellite-based a440 assessments to map reactive species production rates and concentrations as well as contaminant transformation rates. This study demonstrates the potential for using satellite imagery for estimating contaminant loss via indirect photolysis in lakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6671-6681
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge Claire G. Griffin for the collection and characterization of the water samples. Funding was provided by the State of Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) and the National Science Foundation (CBET-1510332). The authors thank Noah Germolus for assistance with nitrate concentration measurements.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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