By convention, particulate matter in suspension is defined as the material that is retained on a 0.4 to 0.5, µm pore size filter. Smaller material is considered to be “dissolved” but actually it may be colloidal or particulate: particles as small as 0.02, µm have been observed in natural waters (Gordon 1970; Harris 1977; Eisma et al. 1980), although it is not certain that such particles are not artifacts produced out of larger particles during sampling. As very little is known about such particles in natural waters, particles smaller than 0.4 to 0.5, µm, colloids, large or small molecules, and ions, although chemically important and of possible importance for the flocculation of suspended matter, remain outside the scope of this book.
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Professor Dr. Doeke Eisma
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg