Multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) provides sensitive and precise measurements of stable isotope ratios and can be coupled to a variety sample introduction systems such as laser ablation and gas or liquid chromatography. The versatility and performance of MC-ICP-MS and its increasing availability has expanded the field of stable isotope research to new elements and new applications. The Environmental Isotopic Research Program at NIST Charleston in the Hollings Marine Laboratory performs work on analytical method development, standards development, interlaboratory comparisons, and developing new and improved applications toward marine environmental research and monitoring.
High precision stable isotope ratio measurements are being used in biological specimens to provide new insights into environmental and climate processes and monitoring from polar to tropical ecoystems.
- Analytical methods and laboratory protocols were developed and validated for mercury and boron isotopic analysis in environmental matrices.
- Interlaboratory comparison exercises conducted for both mercury and boron isotope analysis.
- Three new isotope standards completed or underway: RM 8610 and SRM 1947 for mercury isotopes, and RM 8301 for boron isotopes.
- Numerous isotopic research projects conducted using NIST Marine Environmental Specimen Bank samples ranging from coral reefs to the subarctic/arctic.
- Day RD, Stewart, JA, Young C, Brainard, RE, Butterfield, B. In prep. Field calibration of the δ11B-pH proxy in corals and calcified algae at a shallow hydrothermal vent and adjacent coral reef.
- Stewart, JA, Field D, Tolliver R, Young C, Stafford G, Day RD. In prep. Multi-decadal Boron isotope records of coral reef seawater pH from Hawaiian coral cores.
- RM 8610 Mercury Isotopes in UM-Almaden Mono-Elemental Secondary Standard - NIST will begin selling this new material in early FY17 as the first solution secondary standard for mercury isotopes distributed by an NMI. (Project Completion Memo and Draft Certificate submitted and approved)
- SRM 1947 Lake Michigan Fish Tissue – This is the first fish tissue reference material to have values assigned for mercury isotopes. The certificate will be updated in early FY17. (Project Completion Memo and Draft Certificate submitted and in review)
- RM 8301 (Candidate) Boron Isotopes in Marine Carbonate – This material is a synthetic carbonate designed to mimic coral and foraminifera matrices. It was produced at the Hollings Marine Laboratory in FY17 and is being valued assigned for boron isotopes and trace elements by NIST and eleven international laboratories as part of an interlaboratory comparison.
Started: August, 2007
Related NIST Projects
Interlaboratory Comparison Exercises for Organic Contaminants and Trace Elements in Marine Sediments and Tissues
Environmental Specimen Banks as a Resource for Mercury and Mercury Isotope Research in Marine Ecosystems
Regional, Temporal, and Species Patterns of Mercury in Alaskan Seabird Eggs: Mercury Sources and Cycling or Food Web Effects?
Mercury Stable Isotopes in Seabird Eggs Reflect a Gradient from Terrestrial Geogenic to Oceanic Mercury Reservoirs
Created January 23, 2009, Updated August 13, 2019