Computer analysis of X-ray diffraction (XRD) data provides a simple method for determining the semiquantitative mineralogical composition of naturally occurring mixtures of saline minerals. The method herein described was adapted from a computer program for the study of mixtures of naturally occurring clay minerals. The program evaluates the relative intensities of selected diagnostic peaks for the minerals in a given mixture, and then calculates the relative concentrations of these minerals. The method requires precise calibration of XRD data for the minerals to be studied and selection of diffraction peaks that minimize inter-compound interferences. The calculated relative abundances are sufficiently accurate for direct comparison with bulk chemical analyses of naturally occurring saline mineral assemblages.
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An X-ray diffraction method for semiquantitative mineralogical analysis of Chilean nitrate ore