Geology and Mineralogy Applications of Atomic Spectroscopy

Michael E. Ketterer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Geochemistry is fundamentally concerned with the occurrence and distribution of the chemical elements in the Earth, with stronger emphasis on processes occurring in the upper continental crust. Mineralogy involves the identification and characterization of minerals occurring in pure form or as solid-state mixtures in rocks. Both disciplines depend on bulk analysis of elemental constituents, identification and analyses of individual mineral phases, and isotopic analysis of targeted elements. Techniques utilized for bulk analysis include AAS, ICPAES, ICPMS, and XRF; individual phases are identified by methods such as SEM-EDX, LA-ICPMS, and XRD. Isotopic analyses are performed by mass spectrometric techniques such as ICPMS and TIMS. Many atomic spectroscopic procedures require dissolution, either by total dissolution with HF or fusion, or by selective leaching approaches. The applications of atomic spectroscopy in geology and mineralogy are very diverse and prolific; two typical examples of applications are described herein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Spectroscopy and Spectrometry, Second Edition
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123744135
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • AAS
  • AES
  • Elemental constituents
  • Geochemistry
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Mineralogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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