EPMA Analysis for Suspected Meteorites

EPMA Analysis for Suspected Meteorites

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EPMA is the best choice for all suspected meteorites that are not completely metallic. As long as the sample has some rocky or silicate material the EPMA option is appropriate. If your sample is completely metallic, then ICP MS analysis is the correct service option.

 What you need to do: provide CCMS with an approximately 30 gram (or larger) representative sample from the main mass of the suspected meteorite.

*After checkout, you will be sent an email with instructions for submitting your sample. Please note that samples will not be returned. 

**IMPORTANT - you must provide a working email address, as this is the only way CCMS will be able to communicate with you regarding the status of your submission(s). Unfortunately the Colorado Center for Meteoritic Studies does not have the resources to discuss sample status over the phone. It is therefor critical that you provide CCMS with a valid email and update your email with CCMS should it change during the course of the analysis process.

What we do: we will prepare the sample, perform diagnostic microprobe analysis to determine specific elemental ratios for olivine, pyroxenes, feldspars, and certain opaques to establish if the sample is a meteorite or not, and if it is a meteorite, exactly what type of meteorite it is.

Summary of Standard Analysis & Classification Service

  • Sample Prep - Making of one 25mm probe mount or thin section required for microprobe analysis. These are donated with the repository material for archival and future research.

  • Type Donation Processing & Management - According to the rules set forth by the Meteoritical Society, 20 grams or 20% of the total known weight of the specimens (TKW), whichever is less, must be donated to an approved repository in order to receive an official name, and have it published in the Meteoritical Bulletin. CCMS will verify, approve, and transfer the Type Donation to the Cascadia repository, or another Meteoritical Society approved repository.

  • Microprobe Analysis - Specimen specific geochemical and petrographic analysis prescribed by the classifying researcher and the microprobe lab manager. 

  • Classification - Initial determination establishing if the sample is a meteorite or not. If the sample is determined to be a meteorite, then exactly what classification.

  • Write-up & Submission - If sample is a meteorite, CCMS will synthesize the analysis data into an accurate, well formed, and defensible classification writeup for inclusion and submission to the Nomenclature Committee for approval, official name or DCA number, and publication in the Meteoritical Bulletin.

  • Report - A customized comprehensive paper and digital report with USB archive of all assets associated with the sample, analysis, and classification.

There are times when it may be necessary to perform oxygen isotopic analysis, ICP MS, INAA, Raman, or additional microprobe analysis, in addition to the standard minimum electron microprobe analysis. All submissions slated for classification and submission to Nomenclature Committee for official name and publication in the Meteoritical Bulletin, require a minimum of EPMA analysis. In most cases this is sufficient.