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A step-by-step guide to collecting samples

This section will summarise how a feature is sampled, using a case study of the base of a small kiln that was sampled using the disc method.

All images copyright D. Greenwood, University of Bradford.

The feature before it was sampled. 1. Assess and record the feature. Gently clean the feature, which will allow you to identify potential sample locations.

Plastecine holds the disc level as the epoxy glue dries. 2. Select the sample location. Clean and brush the area to remove any small crumbs of earth. Adhere the plastic reference discs to the feature using epoxy resin glue. A small ball of plastecine under the disc will hold it level as the glue is drying.

Sample discs are levelled with a bullseye spirit-level. 3. Ensure that the discs are level as the glue is drying using a bulls-eye spirit level.

The samples are oriented to magnetic north using a magnetic compass. 4. Once the glue is dry, the samples need to be orientated. In this example, a magnetic compass was used to record the direction of magnetic north at the time of sampling.

The sample discs showing the sample codes and the orientation to magnetic north. 5. Each sample needs to be assigned a unique sample code.

Once dried, the samples are cut from the feature. 6. Carefully cut around the sample disc so that a minimum of 1cm³ is attached to each disc.