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Field techniques for the determination of algal pigment fluorescence in environmental waters—Principles and guidelines for instrument and sensor selection, operation, quality assurance, and data reporting

December 27, 2022

The use of algal fluorometers by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has become increasingly common. The basic principles of algal fluorescence, instrument calibration, interferences, data quantification, data interpretation, and quality control are given in Hambrook Berkman and Canova (2007). Much of the guidance given for instrument maintenance, data storage, and quality assurance in Wagner and others (2006) are also applicable to algal fluorometers, although they are not explicitly discussed. Algal fluorometers have advanced substantially since these guidance documents were published; so that while the basic principles remain unchanged, new guidance is needed. This techniques and methods report is intended to provide additional information on algal fluorescence-sensor calibration, maintenance, measurement, data storage, and quality assurance that meet stated objectives of USGS data-collection efforts. The operations described facilitate and standardize the collection and accurate communication of algal fluorescence data collected by the USGS across studies, sites, and instrument types. This report provides technical background information on algal fluorescence sensors; including specifications, operating principles, key features, and design elements. Maintenance and calibration protocols, quality-assurance techniques, and suggestions for data reporting are presented. Sensor performance issues, common interferences, and strategies for addressing them are also described.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Field techniques for the determination of algal pigment fluorescence in environmental waters—Principles and guidelines for instrument and sensor selection, operation, quality assurance, and data reporting
DOI 10.3133/tm1D10
Authors Guy M. Foster, Jennifer L. Graham, Brian A. Bergamaschi, Kurt D. Carpenter, Bryan D. Downing, Brian A. Pellerin, Stewart A. Rounds, John Franco Saraceno
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Techniques and Methods
Series Number 1-D10
Index ID tm1D10
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center; Kansas Water Science Center; New York Water Science Center; Oregon Water Science Center; WMA - Observing Systems Division