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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Short Communications

Dissolved Oxygen Measurements in Aquatic Environments: The Effects of Changing Temperature and Pressure on Three Sensor Technologies


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 4, p. 1766-1774
    Received: Apr 28, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): mark0340@umn.edu
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  1. Corey D. Markfort * and
  2. Miki Hondzo
  1. St. Anthony Falls Lab., Dep. of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN


Dissolved oxygen (DO) is probably the most important parameter related to water quality and biological habitat in aquatic environments. In situ DO sensors are some of the most valuable tools used by scientists and engineers for the evaluation of water quality in aquatic ecosystems. Presently, we cannot accurately measure DO concentrations under variable temperature and pressure conditions. Pressure and temperature influence polarographic and optical type DO sensors compared to the standard Winkler titration method. This study combines laboratory and field experiments to compare and quantify the accuracy and performance of commercially available macro and micro Clark-type oxygen sensors as well as optical sensing technology to the Winkler method under changing pressure and temperature conditions. Field measurements at various lake depths revealed sensor response time up to 11 min due to changes in water temperature, pressure, and DO concentration. Investigators should account for transient response in DO sensors before measurements are collected at a given location. We have developed an effective model to predict the transient response time for Clark-type oxygen sensors. The proposed procedure increases the accuracy of DO data collected in situ for profiling applications.

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