Application of surface analytical methods for hazardous situation in the Adriatic Sea: monitoring of organic matter dynamics and oil pollution
Surface analytical methods are applied to examine the environmental status of seawaters. The present overview emphasizes advantages of combining surface analytical methods, applied to a hazardous situation in the Adriatic Sea, such as monitoring of the first aggregation phases of dissolved organic matter in order to potentially predict the massive mucilage formation and testing of oil spill cleanup. Such an approach, based on fast and direct characterization of organic matter and its high-resolution visualization, sets a continuous-scale description of organic matter from micro- to nanometre scales. Electrochemical method of chronoamperometry at the dropping mercury electrode meets the requirements for monitoring purposes due to the simple and fast analysis of a large number of natural seawater samples enabling simultaneous differentiation of organic constituents. In contrast, atomic force microscopy allows direct visualization of biotic and abiotic particles and provides an insight into structural organization of marine organic matter at micro- and nanometre scales. In the future, merging data at different spatial scales, taking into account experimental input on micrometre scale, observations on metre scale and modelling on kilometre scale, will be important for developing sophisticated technological platforms for knowledge transfer, reports and maps applicable for the marine environmental protection and management of the coastal area, especially for tourism, fishery and cruiser trafficking.