CLUMPED ISOTOPE FACILITIES AND MEASUREMENT

Vital effects in carbonate biominerals

The isotopic compositions of biominerals can be offset from what would be expected from at thermodynamic equilibrium at the temperature of formation. Those effects are well-known for δ18O but less so for Δ47. Robust understanding of those effects are nevertheless necessary for the interpretation of the geological record.

 

Temperature of alteration of carbonaceous chondrites by clumped isotope thermometry

These meteorites contain high proportions of volatile elements, water and organic compounds, and may be the principal contributor to Earth's volatile element budget. Some of them contain carbonate minerals formed by aqueous alteration in conditions that are poorly constrained and may yield important information on early Solar system history.

 

Methane clumped isotope geochemistry

Methane is an important molecule in many different contexts — it's a greenhouse gas, the main constituent of natural gas, and a key ingredient for some metabolic pathways as well as product of others. The multiplicity of sources, sinks and processes can make interpretation based on stable isotope ratios equivocal, and clumped isotopes offer new constraints to understand methane geochemistry. Of special interest to our group are unconventional natural gas reservoirs and their controlling processes and the atmospheric budget of methane.


Analytical Development

Clumped isotope geochemistry offers a number of analytical challenges, and we want to obtain both high-quality measurements and high sample throughputs to enable our research through automatization, statistical treatment of data and streamlined protocols. High resolution stable isotope mass spectrometry capabilities like those of the Ultra are a recent development, and we aim to capitalize on instrumental improvements to design improved measurements.