Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center Stable Isotope Laboratory

Agency/Department

Security Lab

No

Address

6th Avenue, Kipling Blvd
Building 95
Denver, CO 80225
United States

Description

Stable isotope geochemistry involves isotopic analysis of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. These elements are abundant in common minerals and rocks, and they are the building blocks of most geologic fluids (surface waters, magmatic waters, hydrocarbon fluids, and others) and most biological compounds. Geologic metal deposits are in most cases precipitates from hot fluids. Stable isotope measurements can help to determine the source of the fluids, the sources of dissolved constituents, physicochemical parameters of ore formation such as temperature, and the trigger for metal precipitation. Stable isotope analysis can also reveal the broader geologic environment of ore formation, an essential part of any mineral deposit model.

The Stable Isotope Laboratory is located on the Denver Federal Center within the Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center. This facility is the descendant of a USGS laboratory that was established in the 1950s when the field of stable isotope geochemistry was in its infancy. Building on a long history, the laboratory covers a broad array of analytical capabilities and has a wealth of accumulated experience in isotope applications spanning Earth science research.

Specifications/Capabilities: The Laboratory includes five mass spectrometer systems, several vacuum extraction lines, and a Ni-vessel extraction line for fluorination analyses. The mass spectrometers are as follows:

  1. Finnigan MAT 252
  2. Micromass Optima with Multiprep Device and CE Instruments NC 2500 Elemental Analyzer
  3. Micromass Optima with HP 6890 Gas Chromatograph-Combustion System
  4. Thermo Finnigan Delta Plus XL with TCEA and Gas Bench II Devices
  5. Thermo Finnigan Delta Plus XP with Thermo Scientific Flash 2000 Elemental Analyzer and Gas Bench II Device

Analyses performed routinely are listed below. Numerous other types of analyses are performed less frequently.

Carbon-13/carbon-12:

  • carbonate minerals
  • organic carbon, oils, and graphite
  • compound specific carbon
  • dissolved organic carbon

Deuterium/hydrogen:

  • hydrous minerals
  • organic hydrogen
  • water, including fluid inclusion water

Nitrogen-15/nitrogen-14:

  • inorganic nitrogen salts
  • organic nitrogen

Oxygen-18/oxygen-16 and oxygen-17/oxygen-16:

  • carbonate minerals
  • silicate and oxide minerals
  • sulfate minerals
  • organic oxygen
  • water

Sulfur-34/sulfur-32:

  • sulfide and sulfate minerals
  • organic sulfur
  • dissolved sulfate

Scientific Opportunities/Applications: The primary applications are genesis of mineral resources, environmental impacts of mining, animal diet and other ecosystem studies.

No Available Technologies for this lab
No Funding for this lab
No Programs for this lab
No Facilities for this lab
No Equipment for this lab
No publications for this lab
No awards for this lab
No news for this lab
Submit an Article
No Notices for this lab
No success stories for this lab
Submit an Success Story