Specific conductivity sensor performance: I. Laboratory evaluation

Travis P. Maupin, Carmen T. Agouridis, Christopher D. Barton, Richard C. Warner, Xia Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The focus on specific conductivity in the Central Appalachian Coal Fields of the USA has highlighted the need to obtain accurate specific conductivity measurements, particularly in light of the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) guidance that water discharged from mine sites in this region should have specific conductance levels less than 300-500 μS cm-1. Being able to accurately determine the specific conductance levels of mine discharged waters has significant implications for the USEPA as well as mine operators particularly when specific conductance levels approach this designated threshold. Presently, a number of sensors are available on the market for recording specific conductance measurements; however, a detailed study comparing sensor performance under controlled conditions (e.g. temperature and specific conductance levels) has not been performed. This paper compares the performance of four commonly used sensors YSI 6600 V2-4 data sonde, HOBO U-24-001, Solinst Model 3001 LTC Levelogger Junior, and In-situ Aqua TROLL 100. Results of this laboratory study indicated that for conditions more frequently encountered in Kentucky streams, the HOBO and Solinst sensors were most accurate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-344
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (PON2 660 1000003368 1), Virginia Tech University and the ARIES Program (441693-19660A). Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Virginia Tech University or the ARIES Program. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.


  • Appalachia
  • coal mining
  • specific conductivity
  • water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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