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The performance of the Spectrace TN 9000 portable X-ray fluorescence (P-XRF) instrument for in situ sampling and analysis of contaminated soil was evaluated. The method was compared with laboratory analysis of the samples using ICP-AES and XRF as established methods for the assessment of contaminated land. The trueness of the field-based P-XRF results was affected by the soil moisture and the surface roughness of the in situ samples, after the correction of which, no bias was observed betweendoi:10.1039/a700746i fatcat:g7ggymmk4zfo5lvxyb5fa3bz7m