Comparison of decrepitation data
using entirely different equipment
Since the first use of decrepitation to investigate fluid
inclusions, there have been many different instruments used for
The earliest instruments in Canada in the late 1940's lacked data
recording facilities and the counts were accumulated by the human
operator. This produced results of variable quality. (left
image) In 1949, electronic recording was added. (right
In the 1970's the Russians built many different instruments and
used them in mineral exploration, but the results were poorly
reported in the western literature.
An instrument was developed in France around the late
1970's, but seems not to have ever been used seriously.
With the advent of microprocessors, Burlinson Geochemical
Services (BGS) developed a completely automated, computer
controlled instrument in 1980 (model 04). This instrument used
completely digital electronics rather than analogue electronics.
Another instrument was developed in West Germany around
1986 and used in a PhD project, but the instrument was destroyed
while in use in Africa a few years later.
This is a demonstration result from that German instrument, which
also used digital electronics and was based upon the BGS model 04
In 1990 Burlinson Geochemical Services developed a newly
designed instrument (model 105), which again used completely
digital electronics and operated in conjunction with a standard
The Chinese also developed an instrument, perhaps based on
previous Russian exchanges. Two of the Chinese instruments,
pictured here, still exist and are in use in Beijing and
The Chinese instrument is built using analogue electronics and is
very different to the fully digital
instrument developed by Burlinson Geochemical. This provided
an opportunity to analyse the same sample on both these
instruments to verify that the data produced is solely a function
of the sample used and completely independent of the analytical
At Burlinson Geochemical, a standard sample has been analysed
daily for many years, and a quantity of this material was sent to
Professor Xieyihan in Beijing for analysis. His result is in very
good agreement with the results obtained on the BGS instrument, as
seen in the comparison plot here.
Clearly, the data produced by the baro-acoustic decrepitation
technique is highly reproducible on entirely different instruments
and by different operators. The decrepitation data is solely a
function of the sample characteristics and is totally objective.
This confirms that the instrumentation in use and the method
itself is objective and suitable for rapid, consistent and precise
sample analysis as an exploration technique.
Another design of decrepitation instrument is in use in Russia /
Ukraine. This instrument in Lviv, Ukraine uses analogue
electronics but the decrepitation is carried out in a vacuum. In
2013 the paper chart recorder seems to have been replaced with a
digital data logger. Comparison analyses between this
instrument and the BGS model 105 instrument are discussed here.