Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is ideally suited for the rapid and simultaneous analysis of multiple elements in geological materials, including soils, organic substances and most rock types (Eggins et al.,1997; Longerich et al., 1990; Jenner et al., 1990). The application to clay minerals is more recent (Jain et al., 1994). This technique is highly sensitive, and is capable of analyzing a wide range of isotopes covering the entire mass spectrum. Consequently, ICP-MS is used to measure directly rare earth and platinum group elements at ppb levels without preconcentration.

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Commercial ICP-MS instrumentation was...

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