Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

San Francisco Estuary chlorophyll sensor and sample analysis intercomparison

January 1, 2022

This report presents an assessment of chlorophyll collection methods and anonymous results of field and laboratory comparisons in 2018 - 2019 by agencies in the San Francisco Estuary (SFE). The methods assessment and comparison exercises, with funding provided by the Delta Regional Monitoring Program and Bay Nutrient Management Strategy and in-kind contributions from participating agencies, are a first step to facilitate future comparisons and syntheses of data and inform best science practices in the region. In situ sonde comparison exercises found general agreement between two models of Yellow Springs Instrument (YSI) sensors, but the newer sensor (EXO v2 - total algae) measured higher chlorophyll fluorescence (fCHL) relative to the older YSI sensor (6-series 6025). Results may be attributed to the use of a two-point calibration and the fluorescence response of algal cultures in sensor development by the manufacturer. The laboratory comparison included participation by 12 distinct field - laboratory pairs (or groups), with one group analyzing filters using two analytical methods. Filters were collected in triplicate across three sampling events in 2018, and all sample results were pooled together. Results of statistical analyses indicated that nominal filter pore size, the grinding method associated with pigment extraction, and analytical methods do not introduce variability to the chlorophyll-a measurement (Chl-a). When Chl-a results were assessed by sample event, however, significant differences between nominal pore size and analytical methods existed; these differences could be attributed to the small sample size per event. Consistent reporting units and high-concentration calibration standards for field sensors among data collection agencies would improve the consistency and comparability of data collected in the SFE. More routine split sampling events, longer term sensor comparison exercises, and further processing and analytical comparisons that control for individual filterers may also enhance comparability in the region.

Publication Year 2022
Title San Francisco Estuary chlorophyll sensor and sample analysis intercomparison
Authors Elizabeth B. Stumpner, Jamie S. Yin, Matthew Heberger, Jing Wu, Adam Wong, John Franco Saraceno
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Organization Series
Series Title Intercomparison Report
Index ID 70229656
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center