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Determining the magnitude of true analytical error in geochemical analysis

Clifford R. Stanley, Nelson O'Driscoll and Pritam Ranjan
Determining the magnitude of true analytical error in geochemical analysis
Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis (November 2010) 10 (4): 355-364


Geochemical analysis of geological materials introduces errors at virtually every stage of sample preparation and analysis. Determining the actual analytical error (that error introduced during the analysis of prepared sub-samples of geological materials) is commonly difficult because many forms of analysis destroy the sub-sample. As a result, duplicate analysis cannot be undertaken to measure analytical error directly, and analytical error cannot be isolated from sub-sampling error. However, using replicate analyses of sub-samples of two different masses, and solving a system of three equations in three unknowns, the actual "analytical" error can be deduced and distinguished from the sub-sampling error. This provides a means to estimate sub-sampling and analytical error magnitudes and to determine whether increasing sub-sample mass will result in an efficient reduction in overall error in geochemical analyses. It also provides a means to quantify sub-sampling error in reference materials so that they can be properly used in geochemical analysis to monitor and quantify analytical error.

ISSN: 1467-7873
EISSN: 2041-4943
Serial Title: Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis
Serial Volume: 10
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Determining the magnitude of true analytical error in geochemical analysis
Affiliation: Acadia University, Department Earth and Environmental Science, Wolfville, NS, Canada
Pages: 355-364
Published: 201011
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House, London, United Kingdom
References: 23
Accession Number: 2011-002479
Categories: General geochemistry
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendices
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201102
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