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ABSTRACT

Solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) is known to have a significant effect upon the marine ecosystem. This has been documented by many previous studies using a variety of measurement methods in aquatic environments such as oceans, streams and lakes. Evidence gathered from these investigations has shown that UVB radiation (280–320 nm) can negatively affect numerous aquatic life forms, while UVA radiation (320–400 nm) can both damage and possibly even repair certain types of underwater life. Chemical dosimeters such as polysulphone have been tested to record underwater UV exposures and in turn quantify the relationship between water column depth and dissolved organic carbon levels to the distribution of biologically damaging UV underwater. However, these studies have only been able to intercept UV exposures over relatively short time intervals. This paper reports on the evaluation of a high exposure UV dosimeter for underwater use. The UV dosimeter was fabricated from poly 2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide (PPO) film. This paper presents the dose response, cosine response, exposure additivity and watermarking effect relating to the PPO dosimeter as measured in a controlled underwater environment and will also detail the overnight dark reaction and UVA and visible radiation response of the PPO dosimeter, which can be used for error correction to improve the reliability of the UV data measured by the PPO dosimeters. These results show that this dosimeter has the potential for long-term underwater UV exposure measurements.