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Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2017-33
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
07 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems (GI).
Automated mineralogy based on energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence microscopy (µ-EDXRF) applied to plutonic rock thin sections in comparison to Mineral Liberation Analyser
Wilhelm Nikonow and Dieter Rammlmair Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Stilleweg 2, 30655 Hannover, Germany
Abstract. Recent development in the application of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry mapping (µ-EDXRF) has opened new opportunities for fast geoscientific analyses. Acquiring spatially resolved spectral and chemical information non-destructively for large samples of up to 20 cm length provides valuable information for geoscientific interpretation. Using supervised classification of the spectral information, mineral distribution maps can be obtained. In this work, thin sections of plutonic rocks are analyzed by µ-EDXRF and classified using the supervised classification algorithm Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM). Based on the mineral distribution maps, it is possible to obtain quantitative mineral information, i.e. to calculate the modal mineralogy, search and locate minerals of interest and perform image analysis. The results are compared to automated mineralogy obtained from the Mineral Liberation Analyser (MLA) of a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and show good accordance, revealing variation resulting mostly from the limit of spatial resolution of the µ-EDXRF instrument. Taking into account the little time needed for sample preparation and measurement, this method seems well suitable for fast sample overviews with valuable chemical, mineralogical and textural information, and additionally, enabling the researcher to make better and more targeted decisions for subsequent analyses.

Citation: Nikonow, W. and Rammlmair, D.: Automated mineralogy based on energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence microscopy (µ-EDXRF) applied to plutonic rock thin sections in comparison to Mineral Liberation Analyser, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2017-33, in review, 2017.
Wilhelm Nikonow and Dieter Rammlmair
Wilhelm Nikonow and Dieter Rammlmair
Wilhelm Nikonow and Dieter Rammlmair

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Short summary
This work describes a new approach to use fast X-ray fluorescence mapping as a tool for automated mineralogy applied on thin sections of plutonic rocks. Using supervised classification of the spectral information, mineral maps are obtained for modal mineralogy or image analysis. The results are compared to a conventional method for automated mineralogy, which is Scanning Electron Microscopy with Mineral Liberation Analyser, showing a good overall accuracy of 76 %.
This work describes a new approach to use fast X-ray fluorescence mapping as a tool for...
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