Micro-XRF Studies of Sediment Cores: A Perspective on Capability and Application in the Environmental Sciences

TitleMicro-XRF Studies of Sediment Cores: A Perspective on Capability and Application in the Environmental Sciences
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRothwell, G, Croudace, IW
EditorCroudace, IW, Rothwell, G
Book TitleMicro-XRF Studies of Sediment Cores: Applications of a non-destructive tool for the environmental sciences
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
ISBN Number978-94-017-9849-5

XRF core scanners represent a major innovation in the analysis of cored sediment sequences and have revolutionised palaeoenvironmental research over the last decade. Such scanners provide capability to rapidly and non-destructively record element proxy variations at decadal, annual and even sub-annual scales. Their use, initially by the marine science community, was soon taken up by lake core researchers, particularly after the advent of high-resolution models incorporating x-radiography, particularly suited for analysis of varved sequences. Their impact on the environmental sciences is seen in the exponential rise in research papers published since 2005 involving their use. Although their main application has been in the study of Quaternary marine and lake cores, they have also been used in the analysis of terrestrial hard rock cores in mining applications, analysis of loess cores, speleothems, cores from peat bogs and river banks and cores collected for environmental forensics and pollution studies. Further, an important cohort of papers has addressed interpretation and calibration issues, increasing the robustness of acquired datasets. In this paper we review marine and lacustrine applications of XRF core scanning, together with environmental forensics applications and research into data optimisation and calibration presented in the current volume. We provide synopses of the principal findings and a concise summary of the current work.