First Time Users

In order to run samples on the Finnigan MAT253, you must set up an account annually. We prefer to issue a blanket Purchase Order (PO) of at least $5000 which gives the user the option of submitting additional samples for analysis during the year. We do not charge against this PO until the samples are actually analyzed. Think of a blanket PO as your credit limit at the Facility. If you wish us to issue a PO for a specific number of samples and then wish to submit additional analyses during the year, you will have to fill out this form for each sample submission.

Please complete the First Time Users Form, to begin the process.

Having received thousands of samples in all variety of vials and slides, we have preferred methods of packaging and shipping. Please click here (shipping.procedure) to see pictures of our requirements. We have never lost bugs when shipped as described.

Please read the Sample ID and Data Entry sections, fill out the mass-spec data entry spreadsheet and email it to your WHOI contact. For help in filling out this spreadsheet, refer to this document [downloadable MSword format].

You need to also tell us exactly how you want the samples analyzed. For instance, if you placed 7 specimens in a well of the micropaleo slide, do you want us to run all 7 as one analysis, or 7 individual analyses?

We prefer to receive carbonate powder or otoliths in glass vials - NOT plastic - which have static problems.

The reason we are so specific about the kind of shipping containers we receive is because we want to analyze all the carbonate you send to us. Static is the enemy!

The mass spec reaction vessels are quite large compared to the quantity of carbonate we typically analyze. The trick is to get all of the carbonate to the bottom of the reaction vessel.

This is a view of the mass spec carousel. One vial is filled with methanol which we use to transfer small powdered carbonate samples.

We also do not roast or pretreat our samples before analysis. It is up to you to do so, if you believe it necessary.

We do wash our sediment samples in 3% hydrogen peroxide and sodium hexametaphosphate to remove organic material. We did an experiment with rose bengal stained live benthic forams with no treatment and with a 2 minute sonication in 3% hydrogen peroxide. The stained live forams contained significant protoplasm before the treatment and none after. Our philosophy is to do as little as necessary to the samples in preparation for analysis.

We do not wish to make assumptions about your data.

First time users of the Finnigan MAT253 with the Kiel III Carbonate Device need to appreciate some inherant quirks of the hardware and software and how we have chosen to deal with those quirks.

The MAT253 used to analyze your stable isotope samples uses two parallel CO2 extraction lines named "1" and "2" which acidify the carbonate at 70°C. As these lines are not identical, they produce slightly different numbers for standard data and thus we use different VPDB conversion values for each line. When we analyze your data, we first send preliminary data followed by final data when a piece of hardware changes (bellows, capillaries etc.) and we close a block of data. These blocks can be thousands of datapoints long and can be run over many months. We use all the NBS19 standards within each data block to produce a different VPDB conversion number for the 1 and 2 lines. The preliminary data sent to you has been converted to VPDB with the most recent conversion numbers but should NOT be used for final publication. I will automatically send you the final data when it becomes available, usually 3-4 months following the preliminary data. The final data does not normally change by more than a couple of hundredths of a per mil and therefore will not change your analysis of the preliminary data. You have received all the data which we have run for you.

We cull our own data based upon the criteria contained in this document   [downloadable MSword format].

We would finally like to request that you send us reprints of any publications which contain data run on our machine. Similiarly, you can also just email us the citation to include in the Recent Publications section of this web page document.