MassBalanceMassBalance: the program for comparing chemical analyzes of rocks that have undergone various stages of alteration

 This very simple freeware ©MS Windows program is designed to compare chemical analyses of rocks representing successive alteration stages (metasomatic, weathering, etc.). The program normalizes analyses to the user-selected most immobile component (oxide or element) in the least altered sample (substrate).
 Two kinds of charts are used:

  • Histograms for comparison of two samples. Components in these charts are sorted from maximum removal to maximum addition along horizontal axis
  • Line graphs demonstrating trends of changes for all components in all analyses at once. Numbers of samples (along horizontal axis) are sorted by increased contents of selected component or placed with the same order as in the source table

 You can select for vertical axis either simple differences between contents of the components normalized to unite contents of the most immobile component, or ratios of normalized contents of the components. You can also choose either linear, or logarithmic scale for the vertical axis in the case of ratios.
MassBalance windows
Simple differences allow to compare absolute quantities of removed and added components, because values along vertical axis correspond to proportions of components. However, plots of the components having low contents may look like almost straight lines near the zero level demonstrating poorly visible behaviour.
Ratios of contents demonstrate behaviour of components irrelative to their absolute contents and hence produce more informative graphs. This option allows to reflect behaviour of components having high and very low contents on the single chart. However, relative determination errors increase with decrease of contents (if the same analytical method is used) that may have dramatic effects on the results for minor components. Therefore, selection of the minor component as immobile one (or just for sorting purposes) may lead to misinterpretations.
 You can also compare average compositions calculated based on the groups of similar analyses (instead of individual analyses).
 Source data can be entered by simple pasting of tables copied from the MS Excel spreadsheet or from the text file. Resulting charts and calculated tables can be copied to the Windows clipboard for pasting to MS Word, Excel, CorelDRAW, etc. documents.
 This program was written in 2010 in close collaboration with Sergey Bushmin (IPGG RAS) and slightly modified for public release in 2022.