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Comparing single-particle analysis data of volcanic ash of the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption obtained from scanning electron and light microscope images

Frank Sommer, Christoph Maschowski, Volker Dietze, Bernard Grobety and Reto Giere
Comparing single-particle analysis data of volcanic ash of the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption obtained from scanning electron and light microscope images
European Journal of Mineralogy (June 2016) 28 (5): 855-868

Abstract

This study examines the influence of different analysis techniques on the results concerning the particle size distribution and mineralogical composition of airborne particles. Volcanic ash from the Eyjafjalla volcano was examined with a transmitted light microscope (TLM), a scanning electron microscope (SEM), SEM equipped with an automatic single-particle analysis program, and an electron microprobe (EMP) and the results differ considerably. Main error source is the specific particle size determination for each method. Here, a sample containing airborne particles of volcanic material was analyzed for size-differentiated particle number (n) on the evaluation area per unit time (number settling rate). The results of the TLM reveal a higher abundance of particles > or =8 mu m than those obtained by manual SEM and EMP analysis, whereas the opposite is observed for particles <8 mu m. When using SEM combined with automated single-particle analysis the number of identified particles is reduced compared to the manually obtained values. As error sources we identified uneven surfaces for SEM and EMP, the identification of transparent and light-colored particles under TLM, and the setting of brightness and contrast. The consequence of these discrepancies is that the TLM analysis leads to overestimation of feldspar, whereas the SEM and EMP techniques overestimate the abundances of pyroxene, quartz and other minerals in the studied sample.


ISSN: 0935-1221
EISSN: 1617-4011
Serial Title: European Journal of Mineralogy
Serial Volume: 28
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Comparing single-particle analysis data of volcanic ash of the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption obtained from scanning electron and light microscope images
Affiliation: Universitaet Freiburg, Geowissenschaften, Freiburg, Germany
Pages: 855-868
Published: 20160608
Text Language: English
Publisher: Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung (Naegele u. Obermiller), Stuttgart, Germany
References: 35
Accession Number: 2016-085302
Categories: Quaternary geologyGeochemistry of rocks, soils, and sediments
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 4 tables, sketch map
N63°32'02" - N63°32'02", W18°27'51" - W18°27'51"
Secondary Affiliation: Deutscher Wetterdienst, Zentrum fuer Medizin-Meteorologische Forschung, DEU, GermanyUniversite de Fribourg, CHE, SwitzerlandUniversity of Pennsylvania, USA, United States
Country of Publication: Germany
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201641
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