Spark ablation-inductively coupled plasma (SA-ICP) spectrometry is applied to the measurement of hafnium-zirconium ratios in zircons and to the determination of cerium, cobalt, iron, lead, nickel and phosphorus in ferromanganese nodules. Six operating parameters used for the high-voltage spark and argon-ICP combination are established by sequential simplex optimization of both signal-to-background ratio and signal-to-noise ratio. The time-dependences of the atomic emission signals of analytes and matrix elements ablated from a finely pulverized sample embedded in a pressed disk of copper demonstrate selective sampling by the spark. Concentration ratios of hafnium to zirconium in zircons are measured with a precision of 4% (relative standard deviation, RSD). For ferromanganese nodules, spectral measurements based on intensity ratios of analyte line to the Mn(II) 257.610 nm line provide precisions of analysis in the range from 7 to 14% RSD. The accuracy of analysis depends on use of standard additions of the reference material USGS Nod P-1, and an independent measurement of the Mn concentration. ?? 1989.