This study examined the effects of changes in pH and copper concentration on the absorbance spectra of natural organic matter (NOM) from a reservoir in Western Australia. Differential absorbance spectra generated for this NOM under changing pH and copper concentration conditions revealed features that could be correlated to the activity of distinct types of chromophores. A comparison of results with those generated for experiments with standard Suwannee River fulvic acid highlighted important differences in chemistry between the two samples.