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By William K. Fletcher

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2-4. A precision control chart for P = ±10% at the 95% confidence level. See text for explanation of data points. close to the detection limit and values below the limit are set to zero, recorded as "less than" or are set to the detection limit; and (4) if systematic differences (bias) arise between batches (Thompson and Howarth, 1976). Detection limits The detection limit for an analytical System is the minimum concentration than can be detected with a specified degree of confidence. It follows that it is closely dependent on the noise (σ0) associated with the zero concentration (blank) measurement.

4 ppm, respectively. In determining precision from duplicate pairs it should be noted if the duplicates are all from the same analytical batch, only within batch precision is estimated. A more realistic estimate of overall precision is obtained by analyzing duplicates randomly distributed throughout many batches. Difficulties in the use of duplicates to estimate precision arise when differences between them follow a non-gaussian distribution. This can happen if: (1) the sample is heterogeneous and sampling errors are skewed; (2) concentrations are close to the resolution of the analytical method and results are reported as discrete values giving a discontinuous distribution; (3) concentrations are 30 / s* — — • • • » U X 2 ·*.

To prevent contamination a thorough cleaning of bottles (and caps), first by protracted soaking in 50% hydrochloric or nitric acids and then by rinsing with distilled water and aliquots of the water to be collected, is recommended. Marchant and Klopper (1978) reported that the levels of contamination found after storing ultrapure water for four years in acid-washed polyethylene, were too low to be of concern in exploration geochemistry. Losses by adsorption on container walls have been studied by many workers and a variety of special procedures have been suggested for individual elements.

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