Shipboard techniques based on flow injectionanalysis for measuring dissolved Fe, Mn and Al in seawater
An overview is presented of sampling techniques and flow injection analysis (FIA) methods for low concentrations of Fe, Mn and Al in filtered seawater. On the basis of sampling procedures, filtration techniques, accuracy, blanks, detection limits, intercalibration results and oceanographic consistency, the feasibility of these FIA methods was evaluated. It was found that these metals could be measured on board with a minimum risk of contamination and with good accuracy even at low subnanomolar levels (<0.5 nM). Results for reference seawater were in the case of Fe-FIA and Mn-FIA in excellent agreement with the certified values. Data from samples analyzed by Fe-FIA and by cathodic stripping voltametry (CSV) compared well, as did Mn-FIA and GFAAS. All three methods gave results that were mostly in good agreement with data from the same ocean regions published by other research groups. Two different types of surface water sampling were also tested and compared, namely conventional hand filling of a sample bottle from a rubber dinghy away from the ship, and underway pumping of seawater using a ‘tow fish’. The latter method gave the best results. Also, conventional membrane filtration and cartridge filtration for large volume filtration were compared using Fe and Al data from water column samples. Good agreement was found for both filter types, although for defining dissolved metal species the latter filter type was preferred.