Chapter Al of the laboratory manual contains methods used by the U.S. Geological Survey to analyze samples of water, suspended sediments, and bottom material for their content of inorganic constituents. Included are methods for determining the concentration of dissolved constituents in water, the total recoverable and total of constituents in water-suspended sediment samples, and the recoverable and total concentrations of constituents in samples of bottom material. The introduction to the manual includes essential definitions and a brief discussion of the use of significant figures in calculating and reporting analytical results. Quality control in the water-analysis laboratory is discussed, including the accuracy and precision of analyses, the use of standard-reference water samples, and the operation of an effective quality-assurance program. Methods for sample preparation and pretreatment are given also.
A brief discussion of the principles of the analytical techniques involved and their particular application to water and sediment analysis is presented. The analytical methods of these techniques are arranged alphabetically by constituent. For each method, the general topics covered are the application, the principle of the method, the interferences, the apparatus and reagents required, a detailed description of the analytical procedure, reporting results, units and significant figures, and analytical precision data, when available. More than 126 methods are given for the determination of 70 inorganic constituents and physical properties of water, suspended sediment, and bottom material.