Water, clay, sand, gravel, limestone, marble, sandstone, granite or gneiss – only the exact determination of material composition (geochemistry) permits the interpretation in terms of formation, origin or usage.
Well documented sampling and specimen preparation precede any chemical analysis. The first steps of preparation include cutting stones with diamond blades, crushing samples using a jaw crusher or washing clay and marl.
Thin section analysis, X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy are some of the analytical techniques used routinely at Geological Survey of Austria to determine the rock or mineral composition of a sample both qualitatively and quantitatively. Accuracy is the top priority in this process, not only in the Cleaning Laboratory, where mineral concentrates are chemically treated before measuring their absolute age.
Analysis and expert knowledge for the interpretation of collected data are housed under the same roof at Geological Survey of Austria. This constellation accommodates the necessary holistic approach to geoscientific problems.