Accurate determination of total alkalinity in estuarine waters for acidification studies

Highlights
• This work studies the best way to determine alkalinity in estuarine waters.

• The usefulness of some available stability constants of the CO2 system were tested.

• A mixing of two existing sets of stability constants gave the optimum results.

• Non-linear least square regression was the best approach to determine alkalinity.

Abstract
One of the effects of the atmospheric CO2 increase is the ocean acidification. Over the past 20 years, accurate measurements of the seawater carbonate system have become a high priority because this is the main system controlling seawater acidity. However, this phenomenon has not been widely studied in estuaries, even if they are among the most productive natural habitats in the world, lodging some of the highest biotic diversity and production. Due to that lack of information, this work aims to develop and discuss new strategies for the determination of total alkalinity (TA), one of the most measured parameters in the study of acidification, in estuarine waters in the wide range of salinities that can be found in these systems. For that purpose, a new set of stability constants for the carbonate system was established and compared with those most widely used up to date. For the determination of TA, different approaches were studied for the data treatment of the potentiometric titration data.

Kortazar L., Milea D., Gómez-Laserna O. & Fernández L. A., in press. Accurate determination of total alkalinity in estuarine waters for acidification studies. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry. Article (subscription required).

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