Instrumental neutron activation analysis was used for the determination of 31 major and trace elements in 32 samples from the Xinji Loess Section, Shaanxi Province, China. Interferences, including those from uranium fission products, were evaluated and corrections applied where necessary. The 39.7-meter deep section comprises of Lishi Loess of the middle Pleistocene (Q2) and Malan Loess of the late Pleistocene (Q3). The section is characterized by the presence of 5 layers of paleosol, and each paleosol is underlain by a precipitation layer. When the elemental abundances are converted to a carbonate-free basis, there is little compositional difference among the carbonate-free fractions of loess, paleosol and precipitation layers. This indicates that dissolution of carbonate minerals by downward-moving surface water was an important process in paleosol formation while other minerals were not severely weathered and elemental fractionation was minimal. The parent materials of the paleosol and precipitation layers closely resemble the loess layers in their elemental abundances, which suggests that all layers in the section have a compositionally similar source. ?? 1987 Akade??miai Kiado??.