Clean Sampling and Analysis of River and Estuarine Waters for Trace Metal Studies. Academic Article uri icon


  • Most of the trace metal concentrations in ambient waters obtained a few decades ago have been considered unreliable owing to the lack of contamination control. Developments of some techniques aiming to reduce trace metal contamination in the last couple of decades have resulted in concentrations reported now being orders of magnitude lower than those in the past. These low concentrations often necessitate preconcentration of water samples prior to instrumental analysis of samples. Since contamination can appear in all phases of trace metal analyses, including sample collection (and during preparation of sampling containers), storage and handling, pretreatments, and instrumental analysis, specific care needs to be taken in order to reduce contamination levels at all steps. The effort to develop and utilize "clean techniques" in trace metal studies allows scientists to investigate trace metal distributions and chemical and biological behavior in greater details. This advancement also provides the required accuracy and precision of trace metal data allowing for environmental conditions to be related to trace metal concentrations in aquatic environments. This protocol that is presented here details needed materials for sample preparation, sample collection, sample pretreatment including preconcentration, and instrumental analysis. By reducing contamination throughout all phases mentioned above for trace metal analysis, much lower detection limits and thus accuracy can be achieved. The effectiveness of "clean techniques" is further demonstrated using low field blanks and good recoveries for standard reference material. The data quality that can be obtained thus enables the assessment of trace metal distributions and their relationships to environmental parameters.

published proceedings

  • J Vis Exp

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Jiann, K., Wen, L., & Santschi, P. H.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Jiann, Kuo-Tung||Wen, Liang-Saw||Santschi, Peter H

publication date

  • July 2016