Towards the development of a fossil bone geochemical standard: an inter-laboratory study

Chavagnac, V.; Milton, J.A.; Green, D.R.H.; Breuer, J.; Bruguier, O.; Jacob, D.E.; Jong, T.; Kamenov, G.D.; Le Huray, J.; Liu, Y.; Palmer, M.R.; Pourtales, S.; Rodhuskin, I.; Soldati, A.; Trueman, C.N.; Yuan, H.. 2007 Towards the development of a fossil bone geochemical standard: an inter-laboratory study. Analytica Chimica Acta, 599 (2). 177-190.

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Ten international laboratories participated in an inter-laboratory comparison of a fossil bone composite with the objective of producing a matrix and structure-matched reference material for studies of the bio-mineralization of ancient fossil bone. We report the major and trace element compositions of the fossil bone composite, using in-situ method as well as various wet chemical digestion techniques. For major element concentrations, the intra-laboratory analytical precision (%RSDr) ranges from 7 to 18%, with higher percentages for Ti and K. The %RSDr are smaller than the inter-laboratory analytical precision (%RSDR; <15–30%). Trace element concentrations vary by 5 orders of magnitude (0.1 mg kg−1 for Th to 10,000 mg kg−1 for Ba). The intra-laboratory analytical precision %RSDr varies between 8 and 45%. The reproducibility values (%RSDR) range from 13 to <50%, although extreme value >100% was found for the high field strength elements (Hf, Th, Zr, Nb). The rare earth element (REE) concentrations, which vary over 3 orders of magnitude, have %RSDr and %RSDR values at 8–15% and 20–32%, respectively. However, the REE patterns (which are very important for paleo-environmental, taphonomic and paleo-oceanographic analyses) are much more consistent. These data suggest that the complex and unpredictable nature of the mineralogical and chemical composition of fossil bone makes it difficult to set-up and calibrate analytical instruments using conventional standards, and may result in non-spectral matrix effects. We propose an analytical protocol that can be employed in future inter-laboratory studies to produce a certified fossil bone geochemical standard.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0003-2670
Additional Keywords: Chemical composition; Biogenic phosphate; Reference material; Fossil bone/tooth
Date made live: 21 Nov 2007 +0 (UTC)

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