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The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) addresses challenges using records from select sedimentary archives (lake sediments, marine sediments, speleothens, corals) and analytical approaches (stable isotopes, biomarkers) in state-of-the-art science facilities (inorganic and organic chemistry).
In conjunction with the Jackson School of Geosciences (JSG), UTIG has four stable isotope laboratories. UTIG senior researcher Terry Quinn supervises the Analytical Laboratory for Paleoclimate Studies (ALPS), which houses two thermo isotope ratio mass spectrometers and in Inductively Coupled Plasma-spectrometer (ICP).
The first isotope ratio mass spectrometer is a dual inlet Thermo 253 with a Kiel IV carbonate device. This instrument is dedicated to performing high-precision, high-throughput analyses of the stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon in carbonate samples (corals, foraminifer, speleothems), which are required to generate paleoclimate time series. This instrument is capable of making 40 isotopic determinations of oxygen and carbon in a 24-hour period. On an annual basis, ~8k isotopic determinations are made on this instrument.
The second isotope ratio mass spectrometer is a Thermo Delta V, which is configured in both dual inlet and continuous flow mode. In the latter configuration, routine analyses of carbonates (18O, 13C; Gasbench), water (HD and 18O; TC/EA, Gasbench), organic material (C and N, EA; H and O TC/EA), and DIC (Gasbench) are performed. It is anticipated that a second Kiel IV carbonate device will be acquired to facilitate the generation of additional paleoclimate time series.
In addition to the Analytical Laboratory for Paleoclimate Studies, UTIG and JSG host a variety of marine geophysical resources and analytical resources that are available for scientists and students alike to access. For more information, contact us.