A comparison of methods for the determination of dissolved oxygen in seawater
Culberson, Charles H.
Knapp, George P.
Stalcup, Marvel C.
Williams, Robert T.
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An intercalibration of dissolved oxygen methods was conducted at 2 stations in the Sargasso Sea between April 28 and May 3, 1990. The experiment compared three techniques using automated endpoint detection with the manual Winkler method using a starch endpoint. Institutions participating in the intercomparison were the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (automated photometric titration), the University of Delaware (automated amperometric titration), the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (manual titration), and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (automated amperometric titration). Differences in measured oxygen concentrations between institutions were encouragingly small. However, small, systematic differences in dissolved oxygen between institutions did exist. The range between the highest and lowest oxygen values reported by the 4 institutions never exceeded 0.6% over the entire concentration range studied (3.4 to 6.2 mlj1). The good agreement is probably due to the use of the essentials of Carpenter's (1965) modification of the Winkler method by all institutions. The intercalibration revealed several aspects of dissolved oxygen measurements that require further research: (1) the intercalibration should be extended to very low oxygen concentrations; (2) procedures for measur ing and applying corrections for the seawater blank need to be formalized; (3) a simple procedure to measure the temperature of seawater at the time of sampling needs to be developed; and (4) the solubility of atmospheric oxygen in the Winkler reagents must be measured as a function of temperature. The intercalibration also revealed that analytical techniques required for precise and accurate volumetric measurements were often not applied, even by experienced analysts. It was found that uncalibrated pipets were used to dispense standards, that the volumes of oxygen flasks were not corrected for buoyancy, and that corrections for the thermal expansion of aqueous solutions were often not applied.
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