Glossary of Terms

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Glossary of Terms

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The following is a brief glossary of terms commonly used in ESdat.



Refers to the range of chemical analysis to be undertaken by the laboratory on a sample or group of samples. The Analyses associated with a Sample Deliver Group (SDG) is defined in the Laboratory Request.

Analysis may consist of a single analyte (such as arsenic) or a broader suite of analytes (such as heavy metals, which includes arsenic) or an even broader analytical group (such as water analysis). In LSPECS, a group can consist of multiple suites.


Laboratory analysis of a single compound (such as mercury or benzo-a-pyrene).

Analytes may be grouped by type (e.g. benzo-a-pyrene is one of many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)


Estimated Quantitation Limit.  Also commonly referred to as Limit of Reporting (LOR) or Detection Limit (DL).

The value at which a laboratory can confidently report an analyte concentration is detected, and not background instrument noise.

Field Measurement

An actual measurement of a single parameter, such as pH or dissolved oxygen

Field Sample/parameter

A field parameter is a type of measurement obtained using a field instrument, such as pH measured by a pH meter

Laboratory (Lab)

Analytical laboratory (generally chemical analysis, however it should be noted ESdat has some capability to manage geotechnical analysis).

Laboratory Report (Lab Report or Laboratory Certificate of Analysis)

A formal document provided by the analytical laboratory presenting the results of the analysis of a group of samples.

Will generally include the results of the primary analysis as well as results and an assessment of laboratory quality control/assurance.


Laboratory Request

The analysis associated with a Sample Delivery Group (SDG). Traditionally this has been captured under the banner of COC (chain of custody), however COC more accurately refers to a record of transfer of samples between parties (i.e. the sender and the lab), which is accompanied by a Laboratory Request for analysis. LSPECS allows the Laboratory Request to be sent electronically ahead of the samples, which would normally still be accompanied by traditional Chain of Custody forms to record sample transfer.

Laboratory Submission

Sending samples to the laboratory, generally accompanied by a request for Analyses.

Laboratory Quote

Generally a Project or job specific quote prepared by an analytical laboratory that differs from the standard cost for laboratory analysis. Will generally be provided with a lab quote reference number.


A point in space (i.e. with coordinate attribute data) at which a sample of certain media is obtained.

A location occurs within a single site.

Locations may comprise one of the following examples:

surface soil sample
soil bore (allows samples from below the ground surface)
test pit (allows samples from below the ground surface)
groundwater monitoring well (occasionally nested, meaning single location with multiple sampling depths), from which a groundwater sample is obtained
surface water sample
air sample
soil vapour sample (generally from a soil vapour well)

For example, at the landfill facility, Groundwater Wells 1 and 2 (GW1 & GW2) may be located within the site called Waste Pit. Groundwater Wells 3 and 4 (GW3 & GW4) may be located within the site called Leachate Pond.

Location Visit

A Location Visit comprises the date, time and location of a sampling event. Field and laboratory samples are always uploaded to LSPECS against a Location Visit.

(This should not be confused with a site visit).

Monitoring Round

A single sampling event that forms part of a Project.

A Project may encompass multiple Monitoring Rounds.

A Monitoring Round may encompass multiple sites.

For example, a Monitoring Round may include sampling of all wells at the Landfill Facility (i.e. all sites), or just the Leachate Pond.


Monitoring Unit

An Monitoring Unit (ie aquifer) that may underlie one or more Sites.  This is specified in the Wells Table, where a Well is assigned to a Monitoring Zone.

For example Location BH01 may have two Wells (piezometers), each of them monitoring a different Monitoring Unit.


Monitoring Zone

A Monitoring Zone is defined as a sub-area of a site. Usage of Monitoring Zones is optional, and if defined, a site will typically feature multiple zones. Locations can be assigned to a Monitoring Zone as well as the Site.

For example, GW1 may target a shallow aquifer (monitoring zone) and GW2 may target a deep aquifer (monitoring zone).

Monitoring Round Plan

Details the scope of a sampling event, or the template on which a Schedule will be based.  May include the following:

number of sample locations
date of sampling event
required field parameter measurements
sampling method
data quality objectives and quality assurance / quality control measures
laboratory analysis
assessment criteria



Android Tablet based Field Borehole and Well Logging Software. It is a tool used to collect geotechnical and geoenvironmental boring log data in the field.  In conjunction with LSPECS can be used to capture your field parameters and sampling information.


Umbrella for capturing related field and laboratory data.

Projects are associated with a Site and multiple Projects can be created to capture different phases of work at Site (such as Groundwater Monitoring Events, Soil Sampling, etc.)


A single sample of a chosen media (water, soil, air, sediment, air, soil vapour etc.)

Can be either a primary sample, or a quality control sample (such as a field duplicate or laboratory control sample, for example)

Sample Delivery Group (SDG)

A group of samples sent to a laboratory for analysis in a single consignment (as distinct from a batch, which is a laboratory term). Users can assign multiple SDG values within a single consignment if required.


Sample Receipt Notice (SRN)

Traditionally a SRN was provided by the lab in hard copy or PDF format as confirmation of the Laboratory Request. LSPECS allows labs to send an electronic SRN which can be ingested into LSPECS and validated against the Laboratory Request. This ensures the laboratory is performing all the analysis requested.


A group of planned or completed recurring Monitoring Rounds.

For example, a landfill facility may be required to implement a groundwater Schedule, which comprises sampling of a network of groundwater monitoring wells at the landfill ‘site’ at regular intervals.

Schedule Hierarchy

Hierarchy of LSPECS Monitoring Nomenclature


Relative Percent Difference.  A process commonly used to assess laboratory repeatability and reproducibility by comparing the results of blind split samples.


A discrete area that features one or more sampling locations.

For example, the landfill facility described above may be described as a single site.

Alternatively, the landfill facility may be segregated into multiple discrete sites (such as Waste Pit and Leachate Pond).

Projects may comprise single or multiple sites.


Sample Receipt Notice written confirmation that the recipient analytical laboratory has received a group of samples for analysis. Will include information such as the laboratory Report number and anticipated turnaround time.


Groundwater monitoring well (occasionally referred to as a piezometer)