Stable Isotope Lab

The Stable Isotope lab focuses on the natural variations in the relative abundances of the stable isotopes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. These variations in abundances or isotope ratios are used for paleoclimate reconstructions. For the determination of the isotope ratios, the lab utilizes several Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers (IRMS) with varying peripherals such as gas chromatography combustion (GC-C), CN elemental analyzer and gas bench.

The Stable Isotope lab is also equipped to handle clumped isotope (heavy isotopes bonded to other heavy isotopes) analysis of carbonates. As the clumping of 13C and 18O into the carbonate mineral lattice is dependent on the temperature, the results can be used for paleoclimate reconstructions. To analyze these clumped isotopes in carbonates, the lab has two Kiel IV carbonate devices coupled to a MAT 253 or 253 Plus IRMS.