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Composite Sampling

Ecological Statistics

  1. G.P. Patil

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vac039.pub2

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Patil, G. 2013. Composite Sampling. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 1.

Author Information

  1. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


The high costs of laboratory analytical procedures frequently strain environmental and public health budgets. Whether soil, water, or biological tissue is being analyzed, the cost of testing for chemical and pathogenic contaminants can be quite prohibitive. Composite sampling can substantially reduce analytical costs because the number of required analyses is reduced by compositing several samples into one and analyzing the composited sample. By appropriate selection of the composite sample size and retesting of select individual samples, composite sampling may reveal the same information as would otherwise require many more analyses. Many of the limitations of composite sampling have been overcome by recent research, thus providing more widespread potential for the use of composite sampling to reduce costs of environmental and public health assessments, while maintaining and often increasing the precision of sample-based inference.


  • reduce costs;
  • estimation of mean;
  • noncompliance;
  • hazard detection;
  • hot spot detection