Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Methods of analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory - Determination of elements in whole-water digests using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

April 1, 1999

Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) can be used to determine 26 elements in whole-water digests. Both methods have distinct advantages and disadvantages--ICP-OES is capable of analyzing samples with higher elemental concentrations without dilution, however, ICP-MS is more sensitive and capable of determining much lower elemental concentrations. Both techniques gave accurate results for spike recoveries, digested standard reference-water samples, and whole-water digests. Average spike recoveries in whole-water digests were 100 plus/minus 10 percent, although recoveries for digests with high dissolved-solid concentrations were lower for selected elements by ICP-MS. Results for standard reference-water samples were generally within 1 standard deviation of hte most probable values. Statistical analysis of the results from 43 whole-water digest indicated that there was no significant difference among ICP-OES, ICP-MS, and former official methods of analysis for 24 of the 26 elements evaluated.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1998
Title Methods of analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory - Determination of elements in whole-water digests using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
DOI 10.3133/ofr98165
Authors John R. Garbarino, Tedmund M. Struzeski
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 98-165
Index ID ofr98165
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Water Quality Laboratory; U.S. Geological Survey