Comparative analysis of peak-detection techniques for comprehensive two-dimensional chromatography

Indu Latha, Stephen E. Reichenbach, Qingping Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) is a powerful technology for separating complex samples. The typical goal of GC×GC peak detection is to aggregate data points of analyte peaks based on their retention times and intensities. Two techniques commonly used for two-dimensional peak detection are the two-step algorithm and the watershed algorithm. A recent study [4] compared the performance of the two-step and watershed algorithms for GC×GC data with retention-time shifts in the second-column separations. In that analysis, the peak retention-time shifts were corrected while applying the two-step algorithm but the watershed algorithm was applied without shift correction. The results indicated that the watershed algorithm has a higher probability of erroneously splitting a single two-dimensional peak than the two-step approach. This paper reconsiders the analysis by comparing peak-detection performance for resolved peaks after correcting retention-time shifts for both the two-step and watershed algorithms. Simulations with wide-ranging conditions indicate that when shift correction is employed with both algorithms, the watershed algorithm detects resolved peaks with greater accuracy than the two-step method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6792-6798
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 23 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemometrics
  • Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC)
  • Peak detection
  • Two-dimensional chromatography
  • Two-step peak detection
  • Watershed algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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