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Abstract

Compositional mapping has greatly impacted mineralogical and petrological studies over the past half-century with increasing use of the electron probe micro-analyser. Many technical and analytical developments have benefited from the synergies of physicists and geologists and they have greatly contributed to the success of this analytical technique. Large-area compositional mapping has become routine practice in many laboratories worldwide, improving our ability to measure the compositional variability of minerals in natural geological samples and reducing the operator bias as to where to locate single spot analyses. This chapter aims to provide an overview of existing quantitative techniques for the evaluation of rock and mineral compositions and to present various examples of applications. A new advanced method for compositional map standardization that relies on internal standards and accurately corrects the X-ray intensities for continuum background is also presented. This technique has been implemented into the computer software XMapTools. The improved workflow defines the appropriate practice of accurate standardization and provides data-reporting standards to help improve petrological interpretations.

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