Calibration of stable isotopic data: An enriched δ18O standard used for source gas mixing detection and correction


  • D. R. Ostermann,

  • W. B. Curry


We present empirically based calibrations of our measurements made on a Finnigan MAT252 equipped with a Kiel Device to Vienna Pee Dee belemnite, using an enriched δ18O standard. Calibrations include corrections for biases caused by the differences in isotopic composition of carbonate standards measured on the two parallel extraction lines of the Kiel Device and for decreases in the isotopic difference between the reference and sample gas caused by mixing in the source. After correcting for these biases, the precision of 2200 NBS19 analyses (10–300 µg ) is ±0.07 for δ18O and ±0.03 for δ13C. We have shared our standard enriched in δ18O with 18 laboratories engaged in paleoceanographic research, producing the first large-scale interlaboratory calibrations for this community. Using correction procedures reported here, water mass reconstructions using data produced on multiple mass spectrometers may now be possible with a precision approaching the level necessary to reconstruct temperature-salinity and density variability in the deep ocean.