Welcome to the Isotope Geochemistry Facility
The Isotope Geochemistry Facility was created in 1998 to provide state of the art noble gas abundance and helium isotope ratio measurements to the research community for a variety of materials, including seawater, fresh waters, groundwaters, natural gas, ice, rocks, and minerals. The facility consists of a number of high-vacuum sample processing systems and mass spectrometers. We have three branch tube magnetic sector mass spectrometers designed specifically for full dual collection and high precision helium isotope ratio measurements, and a number of quadrupole mass spectrometers for noble gas abundance and isotope ratio measurements. The sample processing systems are all heavily automated and have sophisticated cryogenic systems for gas purfication and separation.We have had extensive experience (more than four decades!) with 3He/4He isotope ratio measurementsa in seawater, having made in excess of 20,000 measurements for GEOSECS, TTO, SAVE, WOCE, CLIVAR, and GEOTRACES surveys as well as other smaller programs. We have recently extended our measurement capabilities to include dissolved noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe) in seawater.We offer measurement services for the following:
- Helium concentration and isotope ratio in natural waters (seawater, lake water, groundwater)
- Tritium concentration in natural waters (for concentrations below 100 TU only)
- Noble gas concentrations and isotope ratios in natural waters
- He, Ne, and Ar abundances and isotope ratios in rocks by melting or crushing
- He isotopes and Ne in natural gases.
This laboratory facility benefits from the combined funding and logistical support of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the U.S. National Science Foundation.