Discrepancies Between Mineralogical Interpretation Using Infrared Reflectance Spectra and X-ray Diffractograms

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Mineral composition can be determined with different methods such as reflectance spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD). However, in some cases, the composition of mineral maps obtained from reflectance spectroscopy with XRD has shown inconsistencies in the mineral composition interpretation and the estimation of (semi-) quantitative mineral abundances. We show why these discrepancies exist and how should they be interpreted. Part of the explanation is related to the sample choice and preparation; another part is related to the fact that clay minerals are active in the short-wave infrared, where other elements in the composition are not. Together this might lead to distinctly different interpretations for the same material, depending on the methods used. The main conclusion is that both methods can be useful, but care should be given to the limitations of the interpretation process.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Publication statusSubmitted - 7 Sep 2021


  • infrared reflectance spectroscopy
  • X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)
  • inconsistency
  • clay mineral interpretation

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