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G-BASE data conditioning procedures for stream sediment and soil chemical analyses

By T.R. Lister and C.C. Johnson


Data conditioning is the process of making data fit for the purpose for which it is to be used and forms a significant component of the G-BASE project. This report is part of a series of manuals to record G-BASE project methodology. For data conditioning this has been difficult as applications used for processing data and the way in which data are reported continue to evolve rapidly and sections of this report have had to be continually updated to reflect this fact. However, the principals of data conditioning have changed little since the BGS regional geochemical mapping started in the late 1960s.\ud The process of data conditioning is based on one or more quality control procedures applied to the geochemical results as received from the laboratories, the degree of conditioning depending on how the data is to be used. The task is based on "blind" control samples being inserted prior to analysis, a system of quality control described in the G-BASE procedures manual. The first of the data conditioning processes is data verification and error checking, essentially assessing whether the laboratory has done what it was asked to do and results are being reported with reasonable accuracy. Shewhart or control charts form an important part of this process.\ud Once the data has been error checked, verified and accepted from the laboratory, further analysis of the data is carried out. These processes include: a series of x-y plots (of duplicate and replicate samples), more detailed control chart plots, and ANOVA analysis of the duplicate/replicate pairs to allocate variance in the results to sampling, analytical or between site variability. Analysis of both primary and secondary reference material can quantify analytical accuracy and precision. An important part of the data conditioning is the quality assurance and this includes procedures used for dealing with results that have data quality issues and documenting all parts of the data conditioning procedure.\ud The final part of the data conditioning procedure is necessary in order to use the data in context of other previously analysed data sets. This is the process of normalisation and levelling of the data. In G-BASE this is a very necessary step in order to create seamless geochemical maps and images across campaign boundaries and varying analytical methodologies that have spanned several decades

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: British Geological Survey
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:11170

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