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Evaluation of Nitrate, fDOM, and Turbidity Sensors in New Hampshire Streams

Authors: Jody Potter · Snyder, Lisle
Owners: Jody Potter
DOI:10.4211/hs.ee0bd6dc2c224a7eaf7b01e931c26021 How to Cite
Resource type:Composite Resource
Created:Jan 17, 2018 at 9:32 p.m.
Last updated: Jan 19, 2018 at midnight by Jody Potter


A state-of-the-art network of water quality sensors was established in 2012 to gather year-round high temporal frequency hydrochemical data in streams and rivers throughout the state of New Hampshire through the NH EPSCoR project. This spatially-extensive network includes eight headwater stream and two main-stem river monitoring sites, spanning a variety of stream orders and land uses. We evaluated the performance of nitrate, fluorescent dissolved organic matter (fDOM), and turbidity sensors included in the sensor network and the data is shared here.

Nitrate sensors were first evaluated in the laboratory for interference by different forms of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and then for accuracy in the field across a range of hydrochemical conditions. Turbidity sensors were assessed for their effectiveness as a proxy for concentrations of total suspended solids (TSS) and total particulate C and N, and fDOM as a proxy for concentrations of dissolved organic matter. Overall sensor platform performance was also examined by estimating percentage of data loss due to sensor failures or related malfunctions. Although laboratory sensor trials show that DOC can affect optical nitrate measurements, our validations with grab samples showed that the optical nitrate sensors provide a reliable measurement of NO3 concentrations across a wide range of conditions. Results showed that fDOM is a good proxy for DOC concentration (r2=0.82) but is a less effective proxy for dissolved organic nitrogen (r2=0.41). Turbidity measurements from sensors correlated well with TSS (r2=0.78), PC (r2=0.53) and PN (r2=0.51).

Subject Keywords

Stream Chemistry,Water Quality Monitoring,fDOM,New Hampshire,Sensor Network,Nitrate,Turbidity

How to cite

Potter, J., L. Snyder (2018). Evaluation of Nitrate, fDOM, and Turbidity Sensors in New Hampshire Streams, HydroShare, https://doi.org/10.4211/hs.ee0bd6dc2c224a7eaf7b01e931c26021

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


Sharing status:

  • Published Resource  Published



 Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:  WGS 84 EPSG:4326
 Coordinate Units:  Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name: New Hampshire

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The people or organizations that created the intellectual content of the resource.

Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
Jody Potter University of New Hampshire,UNH Water Quality Analysis Lab
Snyder, Lisle University of New Hampshire University of New Hampshire NREN, 56 College Rd, 114 James Hall 6038622341
isDescribedBy: Snyder, L. E., Potter, J. D., & McDowell, W. H. (2018). An Evaluation of Nitrate, fDOM, and Turbidity Sensors in New Hampshire Streams. Water Resources Research, submitted.


This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Science Foundation Research Infrastructure Improvement Awards EPS 1101245 and IIA- 1330641


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