The Shenandoah Valley contains vast amounts of limestone bedrock. Historically, this limestone has been mined and used in the construction of numerous structures around Virginia. Limestone varies in its elemental composition of calcium, magnesium, and various trace elements based on the conditions present at the time of rock formation. This study focuses on developing an analytical technique to match the limestone used in the construction of historic structures to the quarry location the limestone was mined from based on variations in the elemental composition of the limestone. Prior to analysis, the solid rock limestone samples must be digested into solution. Traditional digestion methods are time consuming and tedious, so a new digestion method was developed using a Microwave Accelerated Reaction System (MARS). Samples were analyzed for calcium and magnesium concentrations using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. Inductively Coupled-Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to determine trace elements present in the limestone samples.

Additional Abstract Information

Student(s): Jacob Roodman

Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Daniel Downey

Type: Poster

Year: 2014

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