The concentrations of 3 oxides and 29 elements in 7 National Bureau of Standards (NBS) and 3 Instituto de Pesquisas Techno16gicas (IPT) reference clay samples were etermined by instrumental neutron activation analysis. The analytical work was designed to test the homogeneity of constituents in three new NBS reference clays, NBS-97b, NBS-98b, and NBS-679. The analyses of variance of 276 sets of data for these three standards show that the constituents are distributed homogeneously among bottles of samples for 94 percent of the sets of data.
Three of the reference samples (NBS-97, NBS-97a, and NBS-97b) are flint clays; four of the samples (NBS-98, NBS-98a, NBS-98b, and IPT-32) are plastic clays, and three of the samples (NBS-679, IPT-28, and IPT-42) are miscellaneous clays (both sedimentary and residual). Seven clays are predominantly kaolinite; the other three clays contain illite and kaolinite in the approximate ratio 3:2. Seven clays contain quartz as the major nonclay mineral. The mineralogy of the flint and plastic clays from Missouri (NBS-97a and NBS-98a) differs markedly from that of the flint and plastic clays from Pennsylvania (NBS-97, NBS-97b, NBS-98, and NBS-98b).
The flint clay NBS-97 has higher average chromium, hafnium, lithium, and zirconium contents than its replacement, reference sample NBS-97b. The differences between the plastic clay NBS-98 and its replacement, NBS-98b, are not as pronounced. The trace element contents of the flint and plastic clays from Missouri, NBS-97a and NBS-98a, differ significantly from those of the clays from Pennsylvania, especially the average rare earth element (REE) contents. The trace element contents of clay sample IPT-32 differ from those of the other plastic clays. IPT-28 and IPT-42 have some average trace element contents that differ not only between these two samples but also from all the other clays. IPT-28 has the highest summation of the average REE contents of the 10 samples. The uranium content of NBS-98a, 46 parts per million, is very much higher than that of the other clays.
Plots of average REE contents of the flint and plastic clays, normalized to chondritic abundances, show that the clays from Missouri differ from the same types of clay from Pennsylvania. The plot of REE contents for the miscellaneous clays shows that the normalized means for the elements lanthanum through samarium for IPT-28 are much greater than those for the other miscellaneous clays. The means for the elements europium through lutetium are similar for all three miscellaneous clays.
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USGS Numbered Series
Mineralogy and instrumental neutron activation analysis of seven National Bureau of Standards and three Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas clay reference samples