Spectroscopic analysis is a powerful tool for analyzing the composition and structure of materials. Some spectroscopic methods, such as powder X-ray diffractometry, are widely used in the earth sciences, whereas others are more specialized and their use is confined to a smaller number of laboratories. An understanding of spectroscopic methods is critical to 21st century researchers in mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, and related fields, as they produce most of the data underpinning the current understanding of geomaterials.

The application of various spectroscopic methods to geologic materials was previously covered in volume 18 of ‘Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry’ (RiMG), published in...

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