Volume 42, Issue 6 p. 412-422
Research article

Volcanic glass under fire – a comparison of three complementary analytical methods

Fabienne M. Eder

Corresponding Author

Fabienne M. Eder

Atominstitut, Vienna University of Technology Stadionallee 2, 1020 Vienna, Austria

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), 01314 Dresden, Germany

Correspondence to: Fabienne M. Eder, Atominstitut, Vienna University of Technology, Stadionallee 2, 1020 Vienna, Austria. Email: [email protected]Search for more papers by this author
Christian Neelmeijer

Christian Neelmeijer

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), 01314 Dresden, Germany

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Nicholas J.G. Pearce

Nicholas J.G. Pearce

Institute of Geography and Earth Science, Aberystwyth University, SY23 3DA Wales, UK

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Max Bichler

Max Bichler

Atominstitut, Vienna University of Technology Stadionallee 2, 1020 Vienna, Austria

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Johannes H. Sterba

Johannes H. Sterba

Atominstitut, Vienna University of Technology Stadionallee 2, 1020 Vienna, Austria

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Theodoros Ntaflos

Theodoros Ntaflos

Department of Lithospheric Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria

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Silke Merchel

Silke Merchel

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), 01314 Dresden, Germany

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First published: 09 July 2013
Citations: 6

Abstract

The two obsidian sources from the island of Melos (Greece), Agia Nychia and Demenegakion, are chemically characterized by three complementary analytical techniques. Ion beam analysis (IBA) comprising particle induced X-ray emission and particle induced gamma-ray emission, neutron activation analysis (NAA) and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) is applied to the same set of geological obsidian samples.

The combination of methods allows a more complete characterization of obsidian sources and reveals a highly specific chemical composition, the so-called chemical fingerprint. This multi-methodical approach checks also the self-consistency of the analytical results and shows not only the most reliable and characteristic key elements Co and Sc but also Fe, Ca and Ti of Melos obsidian deposits. NAA contributes the largest number of reliable elements to the most unambiguous chemical fingerprint comprising in total of 41 elements. Therefore, NAA is the most suitable analytical method for a clear identification of Melos obsidian deposits.

Moreover, the accuracy of methods is demonstrated by the excellent correspondences (calculated correlation coefficient R2 = 1.00 for IBA and NAA, R2 = 0.99 for LA-ICP-MS) between determined analytical results obained by IBA, NAA and LA-ICP-MS and certified values of the reference glass BAM-S005B. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.