X-ray spectrometry can be applied to the determination of variation of metallic elements in soils and related materials. This method of analysis is rapid, relatively inexpensive, nondestructive of sample and permits the detection of many elements. The accuracy obtained depends largely on standards available and the method of sample preparation used. Various methods of sample preparation can be used to suit the purpose of the analysis, for example, direct use of the powdered sample, acid extraction and analysis of the resulting solution, or analysis of an evaporated concentrate from the acid extraction. Examples of applications of these techniques to analysis for Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, and Ni are given.

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