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Method for the in Situ Calibration of a Passive Phosphate Sampler in Estuarine and Marine Waters

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The University of Queensland, National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (Entox), 39 Kessels Road, Coopers Plains, Queensland 4108, Australia
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Texel, The Netherlands
§ School of Environment, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland 4111, Australia
*Phone: +61 7 3274 9060. Fax: +61 7 3274 9003. E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2011, 45, 7, 2871–2877
Publication Date (Web):March 3, 2011
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society

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    Passive samplers for phosphate were calibrated in the laboratory over a range of flow velocities (0−27 cm s−1) and ionic strengths (0−0.62 mol kg−1). The observed sampling rates were between 0.006 and 0.20 L d−1. An empirical model allowed the estimation of these sampling rates with a precision of 8.5%. Passive flow monitors (PFMs), based on gypsum dissolution rates, were calibrated for the same range of flow velocities and ionic strength. Mass loss rates of the PFMs increased with increasing ionic strength. We demonstrate that this increase is quantitatively accounted for by the increased gypsum solubility at higher ionic strengths. We provide a calculation scheme for these solubilities for an environmentally relevant range of temperatures and salinities. The results imply that co-deployed PFMs can be used for estimating the flow effect on the in situ sampling rates of the phosphate samplers, and we expect that the same may hold for other passive samplers.

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    Experimental conditions; sequence of the experiments; photographs of P-samplers and PFMs; calculation of gypsum solubility in seawater at different salinities and temperatures; calculation example for the phosphate sampler. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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