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Attaining acceptable precision in extractable element determinations is more difficult than in total element determinations. In total element determinations, dissolution of the sample is qualitatively checked by the clarity of the solution and the absence of residues. These criteria cannot be used for extracts. Possibilities for error are introduced in virtually every step in soil extractions. Therefore, the use of reference materials whose homogeneity and element content are reasonably well known is essential for determination of extractable elements. In this report, estimates of homogeneity and element content are presented for four reference samples. Bulk samples of about 100 kilograms of each sample were ground to pass an 80-mesh sieve. The samples were homogenized and split using a Jones-type splitter. Fourteen splits of each reference sample were analyzed for total content of Ca, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, and Zn; DTPA-extractable Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn; exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, and Na; cation exchange capacity water-saturation-extractable Ca, Mg, K, Na, C1, and SO4; soil pH; and hot-water-extractable boron. Error measured between splits was small, indicating that the samples were homogenized adequately and that the laboratory procedure provided reproducible results.
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USGS Numbered Series
Four reference soil and rock samples for measuring element availability in the Western Energy Regions
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey ;
Free on application to the Branch of Distribution, U.S. Geological Survey,