By William K. Fletcher
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Additional info for Analytical Methods in Geochemical Prospecting
They should not be packed tightly or placed in closed plastic bags because this will cause rotting and ultimately produce silage! If the material is to be ashed it should be remembered that ash content usually amounts to only 3—10% of the dry weight and an appropriate amount of material collected. Samples can be dried by hanging the bags in a warm dry room or by using an oven with forced ventilation. Temperatures above 40° C should not be used. Dried material can then be ground in a hammer mill equipped with steel blades and a non-contaminating screen through which the fine, ground material falls.
If the standard deviation for a single measurement is S, the standard deviation Sa for the average of a series of n measurements is: Sa = S/y/n Reduction of errors is therefore possible by replication at any step of the analysis. At the measurement step this is achieved automatically in many instruments by increasing the counting time or by rapid sampling and averaging of the analyte signal. Laboratory sampling In a thoroughly mixed single-component sample, such as a monomineralic mineral separate, sampling reproducibility improves as the number of grains (n) increases.
In determining precision from duplicate pairs it should be noted if the duplicates are all from the same analytical batch, only within batch precision is estimated. A more realistic estimate of overall precision is obtained by analyzing duplicates randomly distributed throughout many batches. Difficulties in the use of duplicates to estimate precision arise when differences between them follow a non-gaussian distribution. This can happen if: (1) the sample is heterogeneous and sampling errors are skewed; (2) concentrations are close to the resolution of the analytical method and results are reported as discrete values giving a discontinuous distribution; (3) concentrations are 30 / s* — — • • • » U X 2 ·*.
Analytical Methods in Geochemical Prospecting by William K. Fletcher