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Lakes and reservoirs—Guidelines for study design and sampling

January 1, 2018

The “National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data” (NFM) is an online report with separately published chapters that provides the protocols and guidelines by which U.S. Geological Survey personnel obtain the data used to assess the quality of the Nation’s surface-water and groundwater resources. Chapter A10 reviews limnological principles, describes the characteristics that distinguish lakes from reservoirs, and provides guidance for developing temporal and spatial sampling strategies and data-collection approaches to be used in lake and reservoir environmental investigations.

Within this chapter are references to other chapters of the NFM that provide more detailed guidelines related to specific topics and more detailed protocols for the quality assurance and assessment of the lake and reservoir data. Protocols and procedures to address and document the quality of lake and reservoir investigations are adapted from, or referenced to, the protocols and standard operating procedures contained in related chapters of this NFM.

Before 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) “National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data” (NFM) chapters were released in the USGS Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations series. Effective in 2018, new and revised NFM chapters are being released in the USGS Techniques and Methods series; this series change does not affect the content and format of the NFM. More information is in the general introduction to the NFM (USGS Techniques and Methods, book 9, chapter A0, 2018) at The authoritative current versions of NFM chapters are available in the USGS Publications Warehouse at Comments, questions, and suggestions related to the NFM can be addressed to

Publication Year 2018
Title Lakes and reservoirs—Guidelines for study design and sampling
DOI 10.3133/tm9A10
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Techniques and Methods
Series Number 9-A10
Index ID tm9A10
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Arkansas Water Science Center