3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane, (CH3O)(3)SiCH2CH2CH2SH, loaded on silica gel was used as a preconcentration sorbent for V, Cr, Mn and Pb prior to their determination by graphite furnace atomic absorption spetrometry (GFAAS). Surface characteristics and surface area of the silica gel before and after chemical modification were determined by elemental analysis. The retention and recovery of the analyte elements were studied by applying batch and column techniques. The experimental parameters, such as the effect of pH of the sample, shaking time in batch technique, flow rate of the eluent, the concentration of acid solution in the column section, and the amount of silica on retention and elution have been investigated. All elements were quantitatively (>= 90%) recovered in the batch technique with R. S. D. values of 3.0 for vanadium, 1.8 for chromium, 1.7 for manganese, and 0.4 for lead. The same recoveries were obtained in the column techniques for all elements, while manganese in sea water could not be succesfully recovered. Detection limits of the method for vanadium, chromium, manganese, and lead are 1.1, 1.4, 1.3, and 0.8 ng, respectively.