Methods and limitations of lsquoclumpedrsquo CO<SUB><FONT SIZE='-1'>2</FONT></SUB> isotope (Delta<SUB><FONT SIZE='-1'>47</FONT></SUB>) analysis by gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometry

Huntington, K. W. and Eiler, J. M. and Affek, H. P. and Guo, W. and Bonifacie, M. and Yeung, L. Y. and Thiagarajan, N. and Passey, B. and Tripati, A. K. and Daëron, M. and Came, R. (2009) Methods and limitations of lsquoclumpedrsquo CO<SUB><FONT SIZE='-1'>2</FONT></SUB> isotope (Delta<SUB><FONT SIZE='-1'>47</FONT></SUB>) analysis by gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 44 (9). pp. 1318-1329. DOI 10.1002/jms.1614

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Abstract

The geochemistry of multiply substituted isotopologues (lsquoclumped-isotopersquo geochemistry) examines the abundances in natural materials of molecules, formula units or moieties that contain more than one rare isotope (e.g. 13C18O16O, 18O18O, 15N2, 13C18O16O22-). Such species form the basis of carbonate clumped-isotope thermometry and undergo distinctive fractionations during a variety of natural processes, but initial reports have provided few details of their analysis. In this study, we present detailed data and arguments regarding the theoretical and practical limits of precision, methods of standardization, instrument linearity and related issues for clumped-isotope analysis by dual-inlet gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). We demonstrate long-term stability and subtenth per mil precision in 47/44 ratios for counting systems consisting of a Faraday cup registered through a 1012 Omega resistor on three Thermo-Finnigan 253 IRMS systems. Based on the analyses of heated CO2 gases, which have a stochastic distribution of isotopes among possible isotopologues, we document and correct for (1) isotopic exchange among analyte CO2 molecules and (2) subtle nonlinearity in the relationship between actual and measured 47/44 ratios. External precisions of sim0.01permil are routinely achieved for measurements of the mass-47 anomaly (a measure mostly of the abundance anomaly of 13C-18O bonds) and follow counting statistics. The present technical limit to precision intrinsic to our methods and instrumentation is sim5 parts per million (ppm), whereas precisions of measurements of heterogeneous natural materials are more typically sim10 ppm (both 1 s.e.). These correspond to errors in carbonate clumped-isotope thermometry of ±1.2 °C and ±2.4 °C, respectively. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 09AREP; IA58;
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Volume: 44
Page Range: pp. 1318-1329
Identification Number: 10.1002/jms.1614
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2009 15:46
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:55
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1178

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