Relation of nickel concentrations in tree rings to groundwater contamination

Water Resources Research
By:  and 



Increment cores were collected from trees growing at two sites where groundwater is contaminated by nickel. Proton-induced X ray emission spectroscopy was used to determine the nickel concentrations in selected individual rings and in parts of individual rings. Ring nickel concentrations were interpreted on the basis of recent concentrations of nickel in aquifers, historical information about site use activities, and model simulations of groundwater flow. Nickel concentrations in rings increased during years of site use but not in trees outside the contaminated aquifers. Consequently, it was concluded that trees may preserve in their rings an annual record of nickel contamination in groundwater. Tulip trees and oaks contained higher concentrations of nickel than did sassafras, sweet gum, or black cherry. No evidence was found that nickel accumulates consistently within parts of individual rings or that nickel is translocated across ring boundaries.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Relation of nickel concentrations in tree rings to groundwater contamination
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/92WR00731
Volume 28
Issue 8
Year Published 1992
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 7 p.
First page 2077
Last page 2083
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