Studies of Cadmium, Copper and Zinc Interactions with Marine Fulvic and Humic Materials in Seawater Using Anodic Stripping Voltammetry

  • Stephen R. Piotrowicz
  • George R. Harvey
  • M. Springer-Young
  • Reinier A. Courant
  • Deborah A. Boran
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 9)


Humic and fulvic acids isolated from seawater were found to interact with Cd, Cu and Zn in different ways at natural levels of these elements and natural pH in seawater. Fulvic acids exhibit strong interaction with Zn while Cd and Cu have little or no interaction on the time scale of the diurnal cycles of plankton or bacteria. The Zn-fulvic acid interactions in surface waters probably occur as part of a steady-state cycle of less than 40 hrs duration controlled by photooxidation and bacterial processes.The interaction of Cd, Cu and Zn with humic acids is much more complex.

It appears that the natural association of metals and dissolved humic and fulvic acids is so dynamic that once a seawater sample is taken into a closed container for analysis, natural productive and destructive equilibria slow and finally cease. Thus, our perception of how metal-organic interactions occur in the ocean depends upon how quickly samples can be analyzed because true oceanic conditions cannot be duplicated. The use of synthetic complexers to study trace metal chemistry in seawater is discouraged.


Trace Metal Humic Substance Humic Acid Fulvic Acid Humic Material 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Stuermer, D.H. and G.R. Harvey, 1977: The isolation of humic substances and alcohol-soluble organic matter from seawater. Deep-Sea Res., 24, 303–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Huizenga, D.L. and D.R. Kester, 1979: Protonation equilibria of marine dissolved organic matter. Limnol. Oceanogr .,24, 145–157.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Boyle, E.A. and J.M. Edmond, 1975: Copper in surface waters south of New Zealand. Nature , 253, 107–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bruland, K.W., G.A. Knauer and J.H. Martin, 1978: Zinc in northeast Pacific waters. Nature , 271, 741–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Patterson, C.C., 1974: Lead in seawater. Science , 183, 553–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bubic, S., L. Sipos and M. Branica, 1973: Comparison of different electroanalytical techniques for the determination of heavy metals in sea water. Thalass. Jugo .,9, 55–63.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chau, Y.K., R. Gächter and K. Lum-Shue-Chan, 1974: Determination of the apparent complexing capacity of lake waters. J. Fish. Res. Board Canada , 31, 1515–1519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Nürnberg, H.W., P. Valenta, L. Mart, B. Raspor and L. Sipos, 1976: Applications of polarography and voltammetry to marine and aquatic chemistry II. The polarographic approach to the determination and speciation of toxic trace metals in the marine environment. Z. Anal. Chem .,282, 357–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    O’Shea, T.A. and K.H. Mancy, 1976: Characterizations of trace metal-organic interactions by anodic stripping voltammetry. Anal. Chem .,48, 1603–1607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Florence, T.M. and G.E. Batley, 1977: Determination of the chemical forms of trace metals in natural waters with special reference to copper, lead, cadmium and zinc. Talanta , 24, 151–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Florence, T.M., 1970: Anodic stripping voltammetry with a glassy carbon electrode mercury plated in situ. J. Electroanal. Chem .,27, 273–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Batley, G.E. and T.M. Florence, 1974: An evaluation and comparison of some techniques of anodic stripping voltammetry. J. Electroanal. chem .,55, 23–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lund, W. and M. Salberg, 1975: Anodic stripping voltammetry with the Florence mercury film electrode. Determinations of copper, lead and cadmium in sea water. Anal. Chim. Acta .,76, 131–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lund, W. and D. Onshus, 1976: The determination of copper, lead and cadmium in sea water by differential pulse anodic stripping voltammetry. Anal. Chim. Acta .,86, 109–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Valenta, P., L. Mart and H. Rützel, 1977: New potentialities in ultra trace analysis with differential pulse anodic stripping voltammetry. J. Electroanal. Chem .,82, 327–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tokar, J.M., G.R. Harvey and L.A. Chesal, 1981: A gas lift system for large volume water sampling. Deep-Sea Res .,28, 1395–1399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mantoura, R.F.C. and J.P. Riley, 1975: The analytical concentration of humic substances from natural waters. Anal. Chim. Acta., 76, 97–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Stuermer, D.H. and J.R. Payne, 1976: Investigation of seawater and terrestrial humic substances with carbon-13 and proton nuclear magnetic resonance. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta .,40, 1109–1114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Duinker, J.C. and J.M. Kramer, 1977: An experimental study on the speciation of dissolved zinc, cadmium, lead and copper in river Rhine and North Sea water, by differential pulse anodic stripping voltammetry. Mar. Chem. 5, 207–228.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Playsic, M., S. Kozak, D. Krznaric, H. Bilinski and M. Branica, 1980: The influence of organics on adsorption of Copper (II) ona -Al203 in seawater. Model studies with EDTA. Mar. Chem .,9, 175–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. Piotrowicz
    • 1
  • George R. Harvey
    • 1
  • M. Springer-Young
    • 1
  • Reinier A. Courant
    • 1
  • Deborah A. Boran
    • 1
  1. 1.Ocean Chemistry and Biology LaboratoryAtlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratories National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations