Technical Note: Dissolved organic matter fluorescence – a finite mixture approach to deconvolve excitation-emission matrices
Abstract. The analysis of the shape of excitation-emission matrices (EEMs) is a relevant tool for exploring the origin, transport and fate of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in aquatic ecosystems. Within this context, the decomposition of EEMs is acquiring a notable relevance. A simple mathematical algorithm that automatically deconvolves individual EEMs is described, creating new possibilities for the comparison of DOM fluorescence properties and EEMs that are very different from each other. A mixture model approach is adopted to decompose complex surfaces into sub-peaks. The laplacian operator and the Nelder-Mead optimisation algorithm are implemented to individuate and automatically locate potential peaks in the EEM landscape. The EEMs of a simple artificial mixture of fluorophores and DOM samples collected in a Mediterranean river are used to describe the model application and to illustrate a strategy that optimises the search for the optimal output.