Granite mapping

In an effort to better understand the world around us, geologists are always striving to make new petrographic discoveries about even the most commonplace materials seen every day. Granite is one such material. Due to vast elemental variety found in mined granite, an interesting analytical opportunity presents itself, in which an elemental map or profile analysis capability would be ideal.

In the field of modern, cutting-edge wavelength-dispersive XRF technology, this analytical capability exists only in Rigaku's ZSX Primus series of WDXRF research-grade spectrometers.

Granite large map image
Figure 1: Granite large map image

Figure 1 depicts an ideal sample for this type of micro-mapping profile analysis. The large mineral seen on the surface of a granite block and outlined in a red square was analyzed on the Rigaku ZSX Primus II for six particular elements (Al, Ca, K, Na, Si, Rb). Profile images were generated in both the 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional graphical viewpoints, as seen in Figures 2 and 3.

2D mapping
Figure 2: 2D mapping

2D mapping
Figure 3: 3D mapping

The large surface mineral in the granite block shows an overall abundance of Al throughout the entire target mineral structure. Within the structure there are two additional areas of interest. First a 'ring' of Ca and Na, and then centered within that formation are elevated levels of K and Rb. The surrounding dark patches seen on the CCD image consist of high concentrations of Si compared to the mineral. The Si is greatly reduced in the mineral itself as seen by the depression or valley shown in the 3-D response.

This easy-to-visualize data might now be used to further define a particular seam or species of common granite for geologists and geo-related manufacturers, alike.


ZSX Primus II features an innovative optics-above configuration. Never again worry about a contaminated beam path or down time due to sample chamber maintenance. The optics-above geometry eliminates cleaning worries and increases up time. Read more...

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