Applicability of laser ablation and partial dissolution ICP-MS techniques on Mn-Fe-oxide coatings of stream pebbles to mineral exploration and environmental monitoring

Coish, Diane Wanda (2000) Applicability of laser ablation and partial dissolution ICP-MS techniques on Mn-Fe-oxide coatings of stream pebbles to mineral exploration and environmental monitoring. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Mn-Fe-oxide coated stream pebbles have been proposed as an alternative sampling medium for regional geochemical surveys. Partial dissolution and laser ablation microprobe analysis of these coatings were tested in this project to determine the applicability of using oxide coatings for mineral exploration and environmental monitoring projects. -- The three areas covered in this project include a Au showing, a base-metal prospect and potentially harmful emissions from an oil refinery. Mn-Fe-oxide coated stream pebbles were systematically collected from stream(s) in each field area and two types of analyses were conducted on the pebble coatings. Partial dissolution Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and solid sample analysis using Laser Ablation Microprobe-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LAM-ICP-MS) proved successful in detecting the elements relevant to the individual disciplines. Low concentrations of elements in the stream water samples were not able to contribute to this project since most were below the detection limit (See Appendix 1) and failed the required statistical analysis of variance therefore, were not considered for further discussion. -- Analysis of variance for the two approaches, digestion of oxide coatings and solid sample analysis of pebble coatings using laser ablation shows that the results from the Mn-Fe-oxide pebble coatings are encouraging. Elements that are typically used to detect and define mineralization or a potential pollutant source are present in the oxide pebble coatings and the majority of them pass the required statistics, therefore, they are graphically presented and discussed. -- Comparisons between the two methods of analysis for the Mn-Fe-oxide pebble coatings suggest that there is a degree of reproducibility between the two laboratory procedures. In most cases, the partial dissolution process provides a more pronounced geochemical signature, although, these anomalies are also noted using the current LAM-ICP-MS procedure. -- For this project, it appears that considering Mn-Fe-oxide coatings as a sampling medium is a viable venture. The current LAM-ICP-MS capabilities suggests that the analysis of the pebble coatings would be more reliable and cost effective if the dissolution ICP-MS method was the primary analytical procedure. Overall, the analyses of the Mn-Fe-oxide stream pebble coatings suggests that gold mineralization, base-metal Pb-Zn-Cu mineralization and potential pollutants from a smoke stack at an oil refinery and the extent of their affect on the local environment are able to be detected using the oxide pebble coatings as a sampling medium.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6528
Item ID: 6528
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 109-115.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Earth Sciences
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Analytical geochemistry--Newfoundland and Labrador; Geochemical prospecting--Newfoundland and Labrador; Oxide coating; Laser ablation; Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

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