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External quality-assurance results for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and the National Trends Network during 1986

Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4007

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Abstract

During 1986, the U.S. Geological Survey operated three programs to provide external quality-assurance monitoring of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and National Trends Network. An intersite-comparison program was used to assess the accuracy of onsite pH and specific-conductance determinations at quarterly intervals. The blind-audit program was used to assess the effect of routine sample handling on the precision and bias of program and network wet-deposition data. Analytical results from four laboratories, which routinely analyze wet-deposition samples, were examined to determine if differences existed between laboratory analytical results and to provide estimates of the analytical precision of each laboratory. An average of 78 and 89 percent of the site operators participating in the intersite-comparison met the network goals for pH and specific conductance. A comparison of analytical values versus actual values for samples submitted as part of the blind-audit program indicated that analytical values were slightly but significantly (a = 0.01) larger than actual values for pH, magnesium, sodium, and sulfate; analytical values for specific conductance were slightly less than actual values. The decreased precision in the analyses of blind-audit samples when compared to interlaboratory studies indicates that a large amount of uncertainty in network deposition data may be a result of routine field operations. The results of the interlaboratory comparison study indicated that the magnitude of the difference between laboratory analyses was small for all analytes. Analyses of deionized, distilled water blanks by participating laboratories indicated that the laboratories had difficulty measuring analyte concentrations near their reported detection limits. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
External quality-assurance results for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and the National Trends Network during 1986
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
88-4007
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1988
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iii, 15 p. ;28 cm.