Using field-portable XRF to assess geochemical variations within and between dolerite outcrops of Preseli, South Wales

Jones, M. C.; Williams-Thorpe, O.; Potts, P. and Webb, P. C. (2005). Using field-portable XRF to assess geochemical variations within and between dolerite outcrops of Preseli, South Wales. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 29(3) pp. 251–269.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-908X.2005.tb00899.x

Abstract

Eight dolerite outcrops in Preseli, south Wales were measured in situ using field-portable XRF analysis, in order to compare two different analysis ("sampling") strategies, and to investigate geochemical variability within and between outcrops. A sampling strategy of two (neighbouring but independent) measurements at each of a maximal number of locations dispersed over an outcrop was the more effective in indicating the overall chemical variance of that outcrop. Analysis of variance indicated that much of the observed variance within individual outcrops stems from real geochemical variability rather than from sampling and analytical factors. Standard ANOVA F tests showed that several of the studied outcrops are heterogeneous at the 5% significance level for one or more elements. Geochemical distinctions between some outcrops were demonstrated using discriminant analysis. PXRF analysis offers an alternative approach to conventional characterisation of outcrops, which is often based on laboratory analysis of small numbers of samples. However, PXRF data are affected by rock weathering and may require correction for this if they are to be compared with analyses of fresh rock.

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