The Department of Geoscience operates a Rigaku RIX2000 XRF, which is extensively used for analysis of a wide range of geologic materials (whole rocks and sediments). The instrument is fitted with a rhodium anode X-ray tube, and is equipped with a 50-position automatic sample changer.
Routine analyses are made of the major elements and 14 trace elements (Ba, Ce, Cr, Ga, Nb, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sc, Sr, Th, V, Y, and Zr). The methodology employed is that of Kimura and Yamada (1996), with extended calibration to span compositions outside those normally encountered in igneous rocks, but commonly met in calcareous or siliceous sedimentary rocks. Analyses for all the above elements are made on glass fusion beads prepared with an alkali flux comprising 80% lithium tetraborate and 20% lithium metaborate, using a sample to flux ratio of 1:2. The glass fusion beads are prepared using an NT-2000 automatic bead sampler.
A small range of environmentally sensitive trace elements (e.g. As, Fe, Cu, Zn and Pb) can also be determined in soils and sediments using pressed powders.
Kimura, J.-I. and Yamada, Y. 1996: Evaluation of major and trace element analyses using a flux to sample ratio of two to one glass beads. Journal of Mineralogy, Petrology and Economic Geology 91: 62-72.