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Spectrographic Techniques as Applied to the Analysis of Sea water

Volume 8, Number 1 (Feb. 1954) Page 5-17

Hitchcock, R.D.; Starr, W.L.


Investigators in a variety of scientific fields have long been interested in the chemical nature of sea water. Prosaic as knowledge of this type may be at the present time, it is well known that the difficulties in determining the chemical nature of sea water are manifold. As this paper will point out, many of these difficulties are mitigated through application of the emission spectrograph. Very precise and rapid analyses of metallic elements can be made by spectrographic means. The techniques employed for the usual analysis of metallic elements are well established; however, since, in most cases, the analysis of elements in sea water does involve some rather specialized techniques, it is the purpose of this paper to present in a single body certain methods studied at this laboratory for making direct spectrographic examinations of sea water and the residue from evaporated sea water. By rapid and direct examination is meant analysis without customary chemical processing for the separation or retaining of certain elements, such as treatment with reagents, precipitations, filtrations, etc.; that is, without recourse to specially developed techniques dependent on the nature of the element in question.