USGS Test Method I-2503

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Method Name:
Nickel, dissolved, GFAA. Official Name: Nickel, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, graphite furnace

Nickel is determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry in conjunction with a graphite furnace containing a graphite platform (Hinderberger and others, 1981). A sample is placed on the graphite platform, and the sample then is evaporated to dryness, charred, and atomized using high-temperature ramping. The absorption signal produced during atomization is recorded and compared with standards.

This method is used to determine nickel in samples of water with a specific conductance not greater than 10,000 uS/cm. With Zeeman background correction and a 20-uL sample, the method is applicable in the range from 1 to 25 ug/L. Sample solutions that contain nickel concentrations greater than 25 ug/L must be diluted or be analyzed by an alternate method. This method was implemented in the National Water Quality Laboratory in May 1989.The analytical range and detection limit can be increased or possibly decreased by varying the volume of sample injected or the instrumental settings. Whole water recoverable nickel in samples of water-suspended sediment must undergo preliminary digestion by method I-3485 before being determined.

M.J. Fishman, 1993, Methods of analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory--Determination of inorganic and organic constituents in water and fluvial sediments: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 93-125

Interferences for samples with specific conductances less than 10,000 uS/cm normally are small. In addition, the use of the graphite platform reduces the effects of many interferences.Special precautionary measures to prevent contamination need to be used during sample collection and laboratory determination.

QC Requirements:
Calibrate instrument using calibration standards (CAL); quality control samples (QCS); and laboratory blanks (LB) analyzed at a minimum of 1 for every 10 samples.

Maximum Holding Time:
180 days



1 to 25 ug/L

The precision and accuracy for dissolved nickel was tested on several standard reference water samples. A known amount of nickel was added to each sample. Concentration reflects the total amount of nickel present (known amount plus added amount).

Reporting Level defined as smallest measured concentration of a constituent that may be reliably reported using a given analytical method.

Revision Number:

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