Performance of a handheld chlorophyll-a fluorometer: Potential use for rapid algae monitoring

Hamdhani Hamdhani, Drew E. Eppehimer, David Walker, Michael T. Bogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Chlorophyll-a measurements are an important factor in the water quality monitoring of surface waters, especially for determining the trophic status and ecosystem management. However, a collection of field samples for extractive analysis in a laboratory may not fully represent the field conditions. Handheld fluorometers that can measure chlorophyll-a in situ are available, but their performance in waters with a variety of potential light-interfering substances has not yet been tested. We tested a handheld fluorometer for sensitivity to ambient light and turbidity and compared these findings with EPA Method 445.0 using water samples obtained from two urban lakes in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Our results suggested that the probe was not sensitive to ambient light and performed well at low chlorophyll-a concentrations (<25 µg/L) across a range of turbidity levels (50–70 NTU). However, the performance was lower when the chlorophyll-a concentrations were >25 µg/L and turbidity levels were <50 NTU. To account for this discrepancy, we developed a calibration equation to use for this handheld fluorometer when field monitoring for potential harmful algal blooms in water bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1409
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2 2021


  • Biomonitoring
  • Ecosystem management
  • Freshwater
  • Turbidity
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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