Author Archives: woms13

The OpenFluor database

For those who are interested in PARAFAC, below is the update I promised on the new tools discussed in my presentation.

(1)  The drEEM toolbox, providing extended tools for visualisation and validation of models is now available at

(2) The OpenFluor database, for quantitatively comparing NOM-PARAFAC components, will be available as soon as possible at If you have published PARAFAC models that you would like to add to the database at the pre-release stage, please drop me a line. I will email instructions. Models submitted before Nov. 15 will be available for matching as soon as the website goes live. Once the website is live, you can go to and follow the instructions there to upload models directly.

Quantification of natural organic matter

Quantification of natural organic matter: caveats and needs

M. Filella1,2

1 Institute F.-A. Forel, Université de Genève, 10 route de Suisse, CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland
2 SCHEMA, Rue Principale 92, L-6990 Rameldange, Luxembourg

Natural organic matter (NOM) plays an important role in many environmentally-relevant processes. NOM includes many different types of compounds, not all of which behave similarly. Much effort has gone into characterising some fractions of NOM (e.g., humic substances) in the different environmental compartments, in finding tracers to ascertain their origin, etc. –sometimes by using extremely sophisticated techniques–, but no comparable effort has been put into developing quantification techniques. As a result, field studies have often limited themselves to measuring only total (TOC) or dissolved (DOC) organic carbon or some surrogate parameter.

Quantification of NOM fractions in waters is not straightforward. Any analytical method measures a property of an analyte (or its reaction product) but the operationally defined nature of some NOM categories, together with the concomitant elusive and non-constant composition and structure of some of these substances, makes it difficult to find such an intrinsic property for them. Moreover, results have to be expressed as a function of the response of a standard, which is perceived as unsatisfactory by some users and, more importantly, remains largely misunderstood by many.

Four different cases will be discussed:

  • carbohydrates (or “when not all sugar is glucose”),

  • thiols,

  • TEP (a completely operational category),

  • humics’ (the most difficult case?).

The importance of being able to quantify different types of NOM will be discussed in three different fields: thermodynamic modelling of trace element speciation (and implications for their use in ecotoxicology models such as BLM), understanding the fate of natural colloids and nanoparticles in freshwaters, studying long-term trends of NOM concentrations in relation to global climatic change.

IHSS Program

Day 4 – Friday 19 – IHSS Day

IHSS Day 2013





The use of 3D-Fluorescence and potential biodegradability for the comparison of extraction procedures of water-extractable organic matter in soils


Madi ABAKER, Nicola RAPETTI, Stéphane MOUNIER. (IHSS-3)

L’absorption UV-Visible et la spectroscopie de fluorescence indicateurs de suivi de l’évolution des composts de déchets vert.


Jean-Pierre GAGNE, Mathieu MILLOUR et Émilien PELLETIER (IHSS-7)

Interactions entre les nanoparticules d’argent et la matière organique dissoute sous des conditions environnementales estuariennes


Poster Session – Pause


Monserrat FILELLA

Quantification of natural organic matter: caveats and needs




MBA EKOMO Vitalys, MOUNIER Stéphane, TRICHET Jean. (IHSS-5)

Etude de la de matière organique incluse dans les minéraux (phosphate ou ambre) par spectroscopie


Ezzhora NKHILIi, Patrycja BOGUTA, Romualda BEJGER, Ghislain GUYOT, Zofia SOKOLOWKA,Claire RICHARD (IHSS-2)

Sensitizing properties of WEOMs extracted from soils


General Assembly + Communication – Price




General Assembly + Staff meeting

IHSS – Poster list :



The need for quantification of natural organic matter:

evaluation of a simple, handheld fluorometer in freshwaters


Yuzhe GUO, Phuong Than NGUYEN, Caroline BONNOT, Gilles VARRAULT, Marc BENEDETTI, Marie-Ange CORDIER, Edith PARLANTI

Optical Properties of dissolved organic matter in the Sein River Catchment (France).



Spectroscopic developments for the study of Soil Organic Matter (SOM) in liquid extracts and on solid phase


Duc Huy DANG, Véronique LENOBLE, Gaël DURRIEU, Jean-Ulrich MULLOT,
Stéphane MOUNIER and Cédric GARNIER

The porewater size/reactivity model for marine sediment organic matter dynamics: an assessment by UV absorbance and 3D fluorescence


Poster Session

P01- ROHIA et al – (Finland) – Characterizing lake DOM across boreal and arctic landscapes

P02- ROYER et al – (France) – Error analysis of low-rank three-way tensor factorization approach to blind source separation

P03- ASSAAD et al – (France) – Characterization of dissolved organic matter in industrial rivers

P04 – GUIGUE et al – (France) – The use of 3D-Fluorescence and potential biodegradability for the comparison of extraction procedures of water-extractable organic matter in soils

P05 – GADIO et al – (France) – Organic matter sources by Time-Resolved Spectra

P06 – DAOUK et al – (Switzerland) – Multiple interactions between the herbicide glyphosate, dissolved organic matter (DOM) and copper in a vineyard environment assessed with UV/Vis fluorescence spectroscopy

P07 – GUYOT et al – (France) – The Triplet States of Dissolved Organic Matter observed by Phosphorescence Spectroscopy at 77 K

P08 – CHIRANJEEVULU et al – (India) – Diel changes of dissolved fluorescence related to microbial activity in the tropical western Bay of Bengal.

P09 -COELHO et al – (France)- Assessing oxydation mechanisms of wine phenolic compounds via fluorescence signatures of composted winery organic matter.

P10 – GAGNE et al – (Canada) – Extraction préparative de substances humiques marines dissoutes des eaux de l’estuaire du Saint-Laurent, Québec, Canada

P11 – GIOVANELA et al – (Brasil) -Fluorescence characteristics of aquatic fulvic and humic acids from varied origins as viewed by excitation/emission matrix (EEM) spectroscopy

P12 -GUO et al – (France) – Optical properties of dissolved organic matter in the Seine river catchment (France).

P13 – GUO et al – (China) – DOM in groundwater_coastal Dagu River watershed


April 10th, 2013 : Opening of the registration link

Dear all, since today, April 10th 2013, the link for registration is opened. Do not forget to register !

Note that you can have cheap room near the workshop’s site by booking a student room at the university. It is situated on the Toulon University Campus, really close by. The Workshop place is at 5 min by walking in little pine forest. A commercial center is situated at 10 min walking.

To take advantage of this accomodation you need to register before the end of April. Be careful, after this date, registration will still be opened but not the student room booking !!!

Benefit about this advantageous price in the South of France by booking as soon as possible.



Invited Conferences


Treavor BOYER – Paula COBLE – Jin HUR – Lieven DE LATHAUWER – Kathleen MURPHY

Pierre COMON



Treavor H. BOYER : The vision for our research group is to develop robust engineering approaches to the treatment of water at various stages in its life cycle so as to match water quality to the water-use activity, maximize water conservation, recover valuable materials, sequester harmful contaminants, minimize the production of waste byproducts, and advance the water–energy–food nexus. Specific to fluorescence spectroscopy, our interest is to characterize and track changes in aquatic dissolved organic matter (DOM) through drinking water treatment processes including ion exchange, metal salt coagulation, precipitative softening, membrane separation, and oxidation. The peak location and intensity of DOM fluorophores, in addition to dissolved organic carbon concentration and ultraviolet absorbance, can provide valuable information about the effectiveness of a water treatment process and the potential for DOM to affect downstream processes such as foul membranes, form disinfection byproducts, and enhance or inhibit corrosion. Fluorescence spectroscopy is also used to characterize DOM in waste streams like municipal solid waste leachate and natural aquatic systems such as dissolved organic phosphorus in wetlands. Other major research activities in our group include urine source separation to recover nutrients, separate pharmaceuticals, and achieve more sustainable wastewater management. (


Paula COBLE : My research is focused on the use of absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy for the study of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in natural waters. Understanding temporal trends in CDOM concentration and fluxes in rivers has become increasingly important due to the role of CDOM in water clarity, dissolved organic carbon flux, drinking water quality, and ecosystem health. Sources of CDOM from land include dissolution from soils, agricultural waste products, sewage effluents, groundwater discharge, and biological inputs from swamps, marshes, reservoirs, and phytoplankton. Factors that increase inputs from these sources include rainfall, river discharge, erosion, temperature, and waste and water management practices. Factors that decrease inputs include drought, biological consumption, and photobleaching. The composition of CDOM is determined by specific fluorophore components from agriculture, intact forest, wetlands, and sewage effluent, and can be used as a tracer of land use and land cover. Increasing population density and resultant land use changes may also alter fluxes of carbon and CDOM. Other applications of my research include Ocean Optics, satellite remote sensing of ocean color, verification of ballast water exchange, and development and deployment of multichannel fluorometers, including laser-based systems, in the environment.

My other interest is Ocean Science Education. I recently took a two-year leave of absence from USF to spend two years at NASA HQ as a Program Scientist in Earth System Science Education. I have been involved in numerous education and outreach programs at the College of Marine Science, including Project Oceanography, COSEE-FL, Oceanography Camp for Girls, the Teacher Oceanography Workshop and an NSF GK-12 project.


JinHurDr. Jin HUR : Recent Research Interest
My research interest is to characterize DOM in natural and engineered systems and evaluate the environmental impacts of DOM based on the DOM characteristics. In one research topic, I use fluorescence spectroscopy data to examine the temporal and spatial distributions of DOM in lakes and rivers particularly relying on fluorescence EEM-PARAFAC. Recent EEM-PARAFAC applications include the prediction of BOD and COD in urban river water affected by wastewater effluent, organic carbon source tracing for a recently constructed dam reservoir, and characterizing DOM changes during storm runoff. I often make effort to correlate the DOM fluorescence data with other environmental significances of DOM such as disinfection by-products, and heavy metal and organic pollutant binding properties. One of my recent studies was to use an advanced data treatment method called “two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2D-COS)” for exploring the structural heterogeneity and the kinetic behavior of DOM. 


Lieven De Lathauwer

 Dr. Lieven De Lathauwer : L. De Lathauwer’s research concerns the development of tensor tools for engineering applications. It centers on the following axes:
– algebraic foundations: uniqueness properties of canonical polyadic decomposition, introduction of block term decompositions, various  properties of low rank and low multilinear rank approximation;
– numerical algorithms: efficient handling of Jacobian and Hessian, exact search, optimization over manifolds;
– generic methods for signal processing and data analysis: signal separation, factor analysis, harmonic retrieval, blind equalization;
– particular applications: biomedical applications, telecommunication, and other.
Recently, Tensorlab has been released, a Matlab toolbox for tensors and tensor computations.


Dr Kathleen R Murphy

Dr Kathleen Murphy is a Postdoctoral Researcher with the UNSW Water Research Centre in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Kate’s primary research interests are in the application of chemometrics for discriminating among sources of chemicals in the environment. Most of her research to date has been of marine and freshwater aquatic systems, particularly the study of the chemistry and biology of ships’ ballast water in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution in the USA, and recently at UNSW, the analysis of fluorescence in municipal water recycling schemes. In 2010, Kate commenced an APD at UNSW to investigate chemometric approaches to identifying annoying odours arising from industrial facilities. Due to the multidisciplinary and international nature of her research, she regularly collaborates with researchers in the USA and Europe.


 Pr Pierre COMON

Pierre Comon is research director with CNRS, at His reseach interests include the development of tensor tools for data mining in general, and for health and environment in particular. In this context, Blind Source Separation and Independent Component Analysis, which have been his main concern these last twenty years, may be seen as an application. Some tensor codes have been put online in 2009  and can be freely downloaded; see the « projects » tab at the speaker home page: