Quarry identification of historical building materials by means of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence and chemometric analysis

F. Colao, R. Fantoni, P. Ortiz, M.A. Vazquez, J.M. Martin, R. Ortiz, N. Idris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)


To characterize historical building materials according to the geographic origin of the quarries from which they have been mined, the relative content of major and trace elements were determined by means of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) techniques. 48 different specimens were studied and the entire samples' set was divided in two different groups: the first, used as reference set, was composed by samples mined from eight different quarries located in Seville province; the second group was composed by specimens of unknown provenance collected in several historical buildings and churches in the city of Seville. Data reduction and analysis on laser induced breakdown spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence measurements was performed using multivariate statistical approach, namely the Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA), Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Soft Independent Modeling of Class Analogy (SIMCA). A clear separation among reference sample materials mined from different quarries was observed in Principal Components (PC) score plots, then a supervised soft independent modeling of class analogy classification was trained and run, aiming to assess the provenance of unknown samples according to their elemental content. The obtained results were compared with the provenance assignments made on the basis of petrographical description. This work gives experimental evidence that laser induced breakdown spectroscopy measurements on a relatively small set of elements is a fast and effective method for the purpose of origin identification. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688 - 694
Number of pages7
JournalSpectrochimica Acta, Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy

Cite this