The analysis of the rare earth elements by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry is complicated by spectral overlap problems involving M<sup>+</sup>, MO<sup>+</sup>, and MOH<sup>+</sup> ions. Two correction schemes are compared in this study. One correction scheme is the classical algebraic approach (Gauss elimination) and the other is a method based on principal components analysis, also known as factor analysis. Both schemes work well, but the principal components analysis approach is considerably more flexible, is easier to expand to more elements, and can tolerate missing data.

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