Rapid Rock Analysis Today

  • Leonard Shapiro
Part of the Developments in Applied Spectroscopy book series (DAIS, volume 8)


The contemporary scene shows three main routes which are undergoing rapid development for the rapid analysis of rocks. Spectrographic emission procedures have in recent years been adapted to major constituents and are being automated and computerized so that a broad range of constituents can be determined simultaneously. X-ray fluorescence is being improved via developments in detectors and x-ray sources so that yesterday’s equipment is outdated today, and chemical methods have proliferated during the past decade, not because they are better, but because they are gentler on the pocket. In the U.S. Geological Survey’s rapid-analysis project, experience has been acquired in the last two techniques. Particularly in the chemical approach, methods which are simple and rapid have been developed and applied to thousands of diverse silicate rocks. Atomic absorption techniques, which have entered the picture only in the last few years, as commercial instrumentation became available, greatly simplified the determination of those constituents for which good spectrophotometric procedures are not available. Some automation and mechanization in conjunction with these methods have contributed accuracy as well as convenience.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    C. R. Fresenius, trans. by A. I. Cohn, Quantitative Chemical Analysis ( 2 Vols.), John Wiley and Sons, New York (1904).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. W. Fairbairn et al,A Cooperative Investigation of Precision and Accuracy in Chemical, Spectrochemical and Model Analysis of Silicate Rocks, USGS Bull 980 1 (1951).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    L. Shapiro and W. W. Brannock, Rapid analysis of Silicate, Carbonate, and Phosphate Rocks, USGS Bull. 1144-A, 1 (1962).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    L. Shapiro, Rapid Analysis of Rocks and Minerals by a Single Solution Method, U. S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 575-B (1967), pp. 187–191.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    E. L. P. Mercy, The Accuracy and Precision of “Rapid Methods” of Silicate Analysis, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 9, 161 (1956).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    F. J. Langonyer and P. E. Paris, The Analysis of Inorganic and Siliceous Materials by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry and the Hydrofluoric acid Decomposition Technique, Anal. Chim. Acta 43, 397 (1968).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Chicago Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard Shapiro
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyUSA

Personalised recommendations