The importance of dissolved hydrophobic organic matter in controlling the partitioning of Cu between the dissolved and particulate phases in natural waters was determined. Estuarine particulate matter was suspended in two solutions: (1) filtered seawater, and (2) filtered seawater in which the hydrophobic organic matter had been removed. Radioactive Cu was then added to each suspension. The removal of hydrophobic dissolved organic matter resulted in a two-fold increase in the distribution coefficient (KD) of added radioactive Cu (from 104.50 to 104.81 1/kg). The partitioning of 64Cu in the suspensions was controlled by chemical processes dominated by complexation with particulate and dissolved organic matter.
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