The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) used six distinct programs to provide external quality-assurance monitoring for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program / National Trends Network (NTN) and Mercury Deposition Network (MDN) during 2007-08. The field-audit program assessed the effects of onsite exposure, sample handling, and shipping on the chemistry of NTN samples, and a system-blank program assessed the same effects for MDN. Two interlaboratory-comparison programs assessed the bias and variability of the chemical analysis data from the Central Analytical Laboratory (CAL), Mercury (Hg) Analytical Laboratory (HAL), and 12 other participating laboratories. A blind-audit program was also implemented for the MDN to evaluate analytical bias in HAL total Hg concentration data. A co-located-sampler program was used to identify and quantify potential shifts in NADP data resulting from replacement of original network instrumentation with new electronic recording rain gages (E-gages) and prototype precipitation collectors. The results indicate that NADP data continue to be of sufficient quality for the analysis of spatial distributions and time trends of chemical constituents in wet deposition across the U.S. NADP data-quality objectives continued to be achieved during 2007-08. Results also indicate that retrofit of the NADP networks with the new E-gages is not likely to create step-function type shifts in NADP precipitation-depth records, except for sites where annual precipitation depth is dominated by snow because the E-gages tend to catch more snow than the original NADP rain gages. Evaluation of prototype precipitation collectors revealed no difference in sample volumes and analyte concentrations between the original NADP collectors and modified, deep-bucket collectors, but the Yankee Environmental Systems, Inc. (YES) collector obtained samples of significantly higher volumes and analyte concentrations than the standard NADP collector.
|ISWS Miscellaneous Publication MP 190