An Empirical Assessment of Variable Water Content and Grain-Size on X-Ray Fluorescence Core-Scanning Measurements of Deep Sea Sediments

  • Suzanne E. MacLachlanEmail author
  • James E. Hunt
  • Ian W. Croudace
Part of the Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research book series (DPER, volume 17)


Deciphering the signal within X-ray fluorescence (XRF) core scanner data can be complex in comparison to conventional laboratory XRF analysis where samples are milled and pelleted or beaded. One complicating factor is that the down-core variability in water content and grain-size can affect element count rates thereby potentially leading to inaccurate interpretations. Experiences using an Itrax XRF core scanner data highlight some of the pitfalls that can occur when the sediment is inhomogeneous. We show that over a threshold of 25 wt.% coarse grained material ( > 63 µm) within the sediment there is a potential for causing significant variability in certain elements. It is also shown that water content variability has a major effect above 40 %.


X-ray fluorescence XRF core scanner Water content Physical properties Marine sediment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne E. MacLachlan
    • 1
    Email author
  • James E. Hunt
    • 2
  • Ian W. Croudace
    • 3
  1. 1.National Oceanography CentreSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Marine GeoscienceNational Oceanography CentreSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.Ocean and Earth ScienceNational Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, Waterfront CampusSouthamptonUK

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