High-precision measurements of seawater Pb isotope compositions by double spike thermal ionization mass spectrometry

Paul, Maxence and Bridgestock, Luke and Rehkaemper, Mark and van DeFlierdt, Tina and Weiss, Dominik (2014) High-precision measurements of seawater Pb isotope compositions by double spike thermal ionization mass spectrometry. Analytica Chimica Acta, 863. pp. 59-69. ISSN 0003-2670 DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2014.12.012

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2014.12.012


A new method for the determination of seawater Pb isotope compositions and concentrations was developed, which combines and optimizes previously published protocols for the separation and isotopic analysis of this element. For isotopic analysis, the procedure involves initial separation of Pb from 1 to 2 L of seawater by co-precipitation with Mg hydroxide and further purification by a two stage anion exchange procedure. The Pb isotope measurements are subsequently carried out by thermal ionization mass spectrometry using a Pb-207-Pb-204 double spike for correction of instrumental mass fractionation. These methods are associated with a total procedural Pb blank of 28 +/- 21 pg(1sd) and typical Pb recoveries of 40-60%. The Pb concentrations are determined by isotope dilution (ID) on 50 mL of seawater, using a simplified version of above methods. Analyses of multiple aliquots of six seawater samples yield a reproducibility of about +/- 1to +/- 10%(1sd) for Pb concentrations of between 7 and 50 pmol/kg, where precision was primarily limited by the uncertainty of the blank correction (12 +/- 4 pg; 1sd). For the Pb isotope analyses, typical reproducibilities (+/- 2sd) of 700-1500 ppm and 1000-2000ppm were achieved for Pb-207/Pb-206, Pb-208/Pb-206 and Pb-206/Pb-204, Pb-207/Pb-204, Pb-208/Pb-204, respectively. These results are superior to literature data that were obtained using plasma source mass spectrometry and they are at least a factor of five more precise for ratios involving the minor Pb-204 isotope. Both Pb concentration and isotope data, furthermore, show good agreement with published results for two seawater intercomparison samples of the GEOTRACES program. Finally, the new methods were applied to a seawater depth profile from the eastern South Atlantic. Both Pb contents and isotope compositions display a smooth evolution with depth, and no obvious outliers. Compared to previous Pb isotope data for seawater, the Pb-206/Pb-204 ratios are well correlated with Pb-207/Pb-206, underlining the significant improvement achieved in the measurement of the minor Pb-204 isotope. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NILAREP
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Analytica Chimica Acta
Volume: 863
Page Range: pp. 59-69
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2014.12.012
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2020 17:12
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 13:24
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4911

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