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Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research


Determination of alkali elements is important to Earth scientists, yet suitable and reliable microanalytical reference materials are lacking. This paper proposes a new albite reference material and evaluates the potential for future K-feldspar reference materials. The proposed Piz Beverin albite reference material from Switzerland yields a homogeneous composition at the centimetre- to micrometre-scale for Si, Al and Na with < 2000 μg g-1 total trace elements (mostly heterogeneously distributed Ca, K and Sr). EPMA and LA-ICP-MS measurements confirm a composition of 99.5(2)% albite component, which is supported further by bulk XRF measurements. A round robin evaluation involving nine independent EPMA laboratories confirms its composition and homogeneity for Si, Al and Na. In addition, a set of five distinct clear K-feldspar samples was evaluated as possible reference materials. The first two crystals of adular and orthoclase yield unacceptable inhomogeneities with > 2% relative local variations of Na, K and Ba contents. The three other investigated sets of K-feldspar crystals are yellow sanidine crystals from Itrongay (Madagascar). Despite distinct compositions, EPMA confirms they are each homogeneous at the centimetre to micrometre scale for Si, Al and K and have no apparent inclusions; further investigation to find larger amounts of these materials is therefore justified.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.