Three New Geochemical Reference Materials for Mineral Exploration and Environmental Contamination Studies: SdAR‐L2, SdAR‐M2 and SdAR‐H1

Wilson, Stephen A.; Potts, Philip J. and Webb, Peter C. (2019). Three New Geochemical Reference Materials for Mineral Exploration and Environmental Contamination Studies: SdAR‐L2, SdAR‐M2 and SdAR‐H1. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ggr.12300

Abstract

The preparation and certification of three new sediment‐based reference materials SdAR‐L2 (Blended sediment), SdAR‐M2 (Metal‐rich sediment) and SdAR‐H1 (Metalliferous sediment) described in this paper involved collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and International Association of Geoanalysts (IAG). Sediments and soils from six locations in the western United States were mixed according to a USGS‐designed blending programme that calculate the proportions of source materials required to match target mass fractions and minimise the number of elements with mass fractions below instrument detection limits. For selected element mass fractions, NIST SRMs 2709–2711 provided target values. By using this approach, the three reference materials retained a natural mineralogy that is so essential for matching matrix and dissolution characteristics. Geochemical characterisation of these materials was carried out through the IAG GeoPT proficiency testing programme. Three independent rounds of GeoPT testing were used, each providing results from over eighty laboratories. Compiled results were statistically evaluated to produce reference values for over forty elements in each material. Reference and information values as well as mineralogical compositions are presented to establish these samples as reference materials especially for use in mineral exploration and environmental contamination monitoring studies.

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