Metrology of aquatic systems

Metrology of aquatic systems

  • ECTS

    6 credits

  • Component

    Collège Sciences et Technologies pour l’Energie et l’Environnement (STEE)


Determining water quality is a key question and legislation aims at achieving an ecological and chemical “good status” of all water bodies. In this module, we focus on superficial water bodies (e.g.: rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters) and the way to assess the status of their physico-chemical status by means of measures, sampling and laboratory analysis.

Field operations are located in the coastal lagoon of Vieux Boucau (SW France). Students are in charge of the monitoring design, the hydrological monitoring and laboratory activities.

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At the end of the Unit, students should be able:
1. to know the basis for defining water quality
2. to set up a sampling strategy (types of pollutants, station location, sampling frequency, sampling apparatus)
3. to perform basic laboratory activities (concentration measurements), control the quality of the data and process data treatment
4. to understand and interpret a water analysis
5. to use databases (multi-variables data), statistical analysis and trend determinations to present, interpret and evaluate results in appropriate forms.

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Course parts

  • Metrology of aquatic systems CMLecture30h
  • Metrology of aquatic systems TDTutorial6h
  • Metrology of aquatic systems TPPractical work24h


Water chemistry, acido basic equilibrium

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Knowledge check

1st : continuous assessment

  • Written theory examination (50%)
  • Field report presenting details of sampling collection and environmental measurements as well as post-fieldwork analysis. (50%)

2nd : written exam

By completion of University Unit Evaluation Questionnaire by students, annual assessment by Unit Coordinator.

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Topics covered include:

  • Sample preparation: sampling, preservation, preparation, extraction, analysis
  • Expression of results: studied parameters, units, presentation of results, precision and accuracy
  • Chemical substances and pollution criteria
  • Major physicochemical characteristics (T, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity), measurement methods
  • Particulate material (organic SPM, C, N, P, chlorophyll pigments), measurement methods
  • Nutrients (nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, phosphate, silicate), measurement methods
  • Application of analytical methods to environmental samples
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At the end of this Unit, students should understand:

  1. the sampling strategy to encompass spatial and temporal variations
  2. the major parameters used to define water quality and measurement methods
  3. analytical methods to quantify nutrients and particulate matter parameters


Bloc 1

Recueillir des données dans des bases de données appropriées

Bloc 2

Définir une stratégie de  collecte et d'analyse des données environnementales


Evaluer la qualité physique, chimique et biologique des milieux aquatiques

Bloc 3

Communiquer autour de connaissances scientifiques avec des publics variés, à l'oral et l'écrit, en Français et en Anglais

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  • Fundamentals of Environmental Sampling and Analysis, by Chunlong Zhang
  • Water Quality: An Introduction , by Claude E. Boyd
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