Properties of natural microlayers on Australian freshwater storages and their potential to interact with artificial monolayers

Pittaway, Pam and van den Ancker, Tania (2010) Properties of natural microlayers on Australian freshwater storages and their potential to interact with artificial monolayers. Marine and Freshwater Research, 61 (10). pp. 1083-1091. ISSN 1323-1650

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Microlayers are natural surface films derived from hydrophobic organic compounds that form on most lakes and streams. Holoarctic brown water lakes have been most commonly studied, with Australian research limited to marine microlayers. Artificial monolayers based on long-chain fatty alcohols have been applied to freshwater storages to reduce evaporative loss. As a water conservation strategy, monolayer technology was not widely adopted due to variable field performance. However, the role of natural microlayers in reducing monolayer performance has not previously been investigated.

In this study, microlayer and subsurface samples from six water storages in Queensland were characterized for water quality indices including biochemical oxygen demand, permanganate index and ultraviolet light absorbance. Microlayer enrichment in southeast Queensland is comparable to or higher than holoarctic lakes. Results indicate that microlayer compounds have the potential to disrupt monolayers in at least three ways: As substrates for microbes capable of degrading monolayer compounds, as chromophores accelerating photodegradation, and as impurities disrupting the molecular packing required to reduce evaporative loss. The knowledge gained from studying natural microlayers can also be used to benchmark novel monolayer compounds, to minimize their environmental impact on freshwater ecosystems.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted Version of paper deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher (CSIRO Publishing).
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2010 12:08
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: BOD; UV absorbance; permanganate index
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961103 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments (excl. Urban and Industrial Use)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1071/MF09159

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