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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-697
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Technical note 09 Jan 2018

Technical note | 09 Jan 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Technical note: GUARD – An automated fluid sampler preventing sample alteration by contamination, evaporation and gas exchange, suitable for remote areas and harsh conditions

Arno Hartmann1, Marc Luetscher2, Ralf Wachter1, Philipp Holz1, Elisabeth Eiche1, and Thomas Neumann3 Arno Hartmann et al.
  • 1Institute of Applied Geosciences, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, D-76131, Germany
  • 2Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, AUT-6020, Austria
  • 3Institute of Applied Geosciences, University of Berlin, Berlin, D-10587, Germany

Abstract. Automated water sampling devices adapted to field operation have proven highly useful for environmental research as well as in the public and private sector, where natural or artificial waters need to be tested regularly for compliance with environmental and health regulations. Such autosamplers are already available on the market in slightly differing versions, but none of these devices are capable of sealing the collected samples to prevent sample alteration by contamination, evaporation or gas exchange. In many sampling cases, however, this feature is essential, for instance for studying the hydrological cycle based on isotopes in rainwater, or for monitoring waters contaminated with toxic gases or other volatile compounds detrimental to biota and human health. Therefore, we have developed a new mobile autosampler, which injects water samples directly into airtight vials, thus preventing any sample alteration. Further advantages include low production costs, compact dimensions and low weight allowing for easy transport, a wide range of selectable sampling intervals as well as a low power consumption, which make it suitable for long-term applications even in remote areas and harsh (outdoor) conditions due to its heavy-duty water-proof casing. In this paper, we demonstrate (1) the sampler's mechanical functioning, (2) the long-term stability of the collected samples with regard to evaporation and gas exchange and (3) the potential of our device in a wide variety of applications drawing on laboratory and field experiments in different karst caves, which represent one of the most challenging sampling environments.

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We have developed a new mobile automated water sampling device for environmental research and other applications where waters need to be tested for compliance with environmental/health regulations. It has two main advantages over similar devices: firstly, it injects water samples directly into airtight vials to prevent any change in sample properties through contamination, evaporation and gas exchange. Secondly, it can hold up to 160 sample vials, while other devices only hold up to 24 vials.
We have developed a new mobile automated water sampling device for environmental research and...
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