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Olivier Rouxel using the Neptune MC-ICPMS at WHOI

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Non-traditional Isotope Analysis by Multicollector Inductively Plasma Mass Spectrometry

Maureen Auro, Jurek Blusztajn (WHOI) Emmanuel Ponzavera (IFREMER)

Variations in the isotopic ratios of light elements such as H, C, N, O and S have been widely studied over the last five decades and provided the foundation for the field of Stable Isotope Geochemistry. These traditional stable isotope systems have been applied to a range of problems such as planetary geology, the origin and evolution of life, climate change, and water-rock interactions. However, much less attention has been paid to the stable isotope variations of heavier elements, such as Fe, Cu, Se or Ge mainly due to analytical challenges. With the advent of multi-collector inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS), large numbers of non-traditional stable isotopes are now accessible to stable isotope studies that should lead to unprecedented discoveries in biogeochemical cycles. My research at WHOI involves the analytical development and application of non-traditional stable isotope geochemistry to understand Earth surface processes, Earth history, and biogeochemical cycles. My research interests focus primarily on the study of metal isotopes (Fe, Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd) and metalloids (Ge, Se, Sb) in past and present marine environments.

Further reading on non-traditional stable isotope research at WHOI

Roskosz M., Caracas R. and Rouxel O., Advances in experimental and theoretical isotope geochemistry. Chem Geol.  267, 109-110.

Rouxel O and Auro M., Natural variations of Fe isotopic compositions of costal seawater determined by MC-ICPMS. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research (in revision)

Craddock P., Rouxel O., Ball L., Bach W. (2008) Sulfur Isotope Measurement of Sulfate and Sulfide by High-Resolution MC-ICP-MS. (2008) Chemical Geology, 253,102–113.

Anbar A. & Rouxel O. Metal Isotopes in Paleoceanography. (2007) Ann. Rev. Earth. Planet. Sci., 35: 717:746.

Rouxel O., Galy A. and Elderfield H. The geochemistry of Germanium Isotopes in Igneous Rocks and Marine Sediments. (2006) Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 70, 3387-3400. Dauphas N. and

Rouxel O. (2006) Mass spectrometry and natural variations of iron isotopes. Mass Spectrometry Reviews, 25,  515-550 (DOI 10.1002/mas.20078)

Rouxel O
.,  Ludden J. and Fouquet Y. (2003) Antimony isotope variations in natural systems and  implications for their use as geochemical tracers. Chemical Geology, 200, 25-40.

Rouxel O., Ludden J., Carignan J. Marin L. and Fouquet Y. (2002) Natural variations of Se isotopic composition determined by Hydride Generation Multiple Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 66, 3191-3199.


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