A comparison of SEM-EDS with ICP-AES for the quantitative elemental determination of estuarine particles
- 448 Downloads
Suspended particulate matter (SPM) is a key component regulating the biogeochemistry of natural and contaminant moieties in estuaries. Individual particle analyses can complement conventional bulk analyses of SPM, but are rarely undertaken. This study used scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS) of particles to quantify a range of elements in the reference estuarine sediment PACS-2. This approach was compared with a bulk SPM analysis based on inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). The median concentrations of Al, Fe, Mg, and Ca for the two approaches were similar, and accuracy for both methods was good. SEM-EDS analysis was also satisfactory for K. Agreement was poorer for Mn and Ti, which were present at trace concentrations. Increasing the number of particles examined by SEM-EDS should improve the analysis. SEM-EDS analysis of SPM from the Tamar Estuary, UK, revealed marked geochemical differences between particle sub-populations.
KeywordsEstuarine particles SEM-EDS ICP-AES Certified reference material Quantification
We thank Andrew Arnold for assistance with the LiBO2 digest and Andrew Fisher for help with the ICP-AES analyses. This study was funded by the Leverhulme Trust (grant F/00568/H) for which it is gratefully acknowledged.
- Braga CF, Teixeira EC, Migliavacca D, Carvalho FG, Fachel J (2002) Sequential cluster analyses applied to the study of atmospheric particles. Quim Nova 25:902–908Google Scholar
- Goldstain J, Newbury D, Joy D, Lyman C, Echlin P, Lifshin E, Sawer I, Michel J (2003) Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray analysis. Kluwer Academic Publishing, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Greenwood NN, Earnshaw A (1984) Chemistry of the elements. Pergamon Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Haswell SJ (1991) Atomic absorption spectrometry: theory, design and applications. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
- Peng F, Johnson DL, Effler SW (2002) Suspensoids in New York City's drinking water reservoirs: turbidity apportionment. J Am Water Resour Assoc 38:1453–1465Google Scholar
- Reed SJB (1996) Electron microprobe analysis and scanning electron microscopy in geology. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar