The U.S. Geological Survey used four programs in 1991 to provide external quality assurance for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN). An intersite-comparison program was used to evaluate onsite pH and specific-conductance determinations. The effects of routine sample handling, processing, and shipping of wet-deposition samples on analyte determinations and an estimated precision of analyte values and concentrations were evaluated in the blind-audit program. Differences between analytical results and an estimate of the analytical precision of four laboratories routinely measuring wet deposition were determined by an interlaboratory-comparison program. Overall precision estimates for the precipitation-monitoring system were determined for selected sites by a collocated-sampler program. Results of the intersite-comparison program indicated that 93 and 86 percent of the site operators met the NADP/NTN accuracy goal for pH determinations during the two intersite-comparison studies completed during 1991. The results also indicated that 96 and 97 percent of the site operators met the NADP/NTN accuracy goal for specific-conductance determinations during the two 1991 studies. The effects of routine sample handling, processing, and shipping, determined in the blind-audit program indicated significant positive bias (a=.O 1) for calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, nitrate, and sulfate. Significant negative bias (or=.01) was determined for hydrogen ion and specific conductance. Only ammonium determinations were not biased. A Kruskal-Wallis test indicated that there were no significant (*3t=.01) differences in analytical results from the four laboratories participating in the interlaboratory-comparison program. Results from the collocated-sampler program indicated the median relative error for cation concentration and deposition exceeded eight percent at most sites, whereas the median relative error for sample volume, sulfate, and nitrate concentration at all sites was less than four percent. The median relative error for hydrogen ion concentration and deposition ranged from 4.6 to 18.3 percent at the four sites and as indicated in previous years of the study, was inversely proportional to the acidity of the precipitation at a given site. Overall, collocated-sampling error typically was five times that of laboratory error estimates for most analytes.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
External quality-assurance results for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network during 1991
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey :
Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],