Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM)

Suspended particulate matter (SPM) is considered an important structural and functional element in aquatic ecosystems (as are the water phase and sediment). SPM is the sum of natural particles transported in the water column. The matter is comprised of mineral particles (e.g. phyllosilicates, feldspars, quartz, carbonates, oxides, clay minerals) and organic substances at a molecular level, as well as fragments of cell and plant materials and microorganisms like bacteria and algae. What is considered particulate as opposed to dissolved is operationally defined based on filtration (traditionally 0.45 or 0.2 µm filters). The concentration, size and composition of SPM is dynamic and depends on many parameters like the flow regime, season, nutrient supply, catchment geology, vegetation and hydrochemistry.


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Walch et al. (2017) Towards more complexity in heteroaggregation studies of engineered nanoparticles with natural suspended particulate matter (ICEENN Poster)

Praetorius A, Badetti E, Brunelli A, Clavier A, Gallego-Urrea J A, Gondikas A, Hassellöv M, Hofmann T, Mackevica A, Marcomini A, Peijnenburg W, Quik J, Seijo M, Stoll S, Tepe N, Walch H, von der Kammer F (submitted 2019) Strategies for determining heteroaggregation attachment efficiencies of engineered nanoparticles in natural waters. Submitted to Environmental Science: Nano.

Lars Håkanson (2005) Suspended particulate matter in lakes, rivers and marine systems. The Blackburn Press.



Helene Walch

University of Vienna, Austria



 Frank von der Kammer

University of Vienna, Austria