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Quality assurance report for Loch Vale Watershed, 2010–19

September 16, 2022

The Loch Vale Watershed Research and Monitoring Program collects long-term datasets of ecological and biogeochemical parameters in Rocky Mountain National Park to support both (1) management of this protected area and (2) research into watershed-scale ecosystem processes as those processes respond to atmospheric deposition and climate variability. The program collects data on precipitation depth and atmospheric deposition chemistry—as well as surface water biogeochemistry—within the watershed and in other areas of the park. These data are used by resource managers, scientists, policy makers, and students, so it is important that all collected data meet high quality standards. This report presents an evaluation of data quality for precipitation, atmospheric ammonia, and surface water quality samples collected from 2010 to 2019. This report also presents changes made to the monitoring and laboratory equipment used during the study period and describes new data streams added to the project, including atmospheric ammonia, surface water chlorophyll-a, and dissolved oxygen in two lakes: The Loch and Sky Pond.

Quality-assurance procedures looked at the accuracy and precision of measurements made over the study period and found that precipitation and surface water chemistry data were 99 percent accurate and precise. Records that failed to meet quality standards were removed from published databases. From 2010 to 2014, a colocated precipitation gauge and deposition collector were installed on site as quality checks. From 2014 to 2018, power loss at the site resulted in significant loss of precipitation data records during the snow seasons. Those problems were addressed by installing new solar-power equipment in 2019. Measurements of deposition chemistry, atmospheric ammonia deposition, and surface water biogeochemistry were all sufficiently complete and consistent to support project data needs.

Publication Year 2022
Title Quality assurance report for Loch Vale Watershed, 2010–19
DOI 10.3133/tm1D9
Authors Timothy Weinmann, Jill S. Baron, Amanda Jayo
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Techniques and Methods
Series Number 1-D9
Index ID tm1D9
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center