Natural Resources

Open File NFLD/3316 - Analytical Methods for Chemical Analysis of Geological Materials

C. Finch, R. Roldan, L. Walsh, J. Kelly and S. Amor

St. John's, Newfoundland, January, 2018


The Geochemical Laboratory has been providing analyses to geoscientists of the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador (‘Geological Survey’) since the 1970s. Over that time, methods have evolved and instrumentation has changed. In the early years, reliance on Atomic Absorption Spectrometry and classical ‘wet chemistry’ methods was the norm. Today, the laboratory applies modern instrumentation to perform analyses by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES), as well as other specialized analytical methods. Over the years, emphasis has been placed on expansion of the analytical capabilities of the Geochemical Laboratory through the acquisition of this modern instrumentation and using automated analysis, whilst maintaining acceptable standards of precision and accuracy through the application of quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) protocols. Today the lab performs analysis for over 60 elements and other parameters on a wide range of sample types, including rock, till, lake sediment, stream sediment, vegetation and water.

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