University Of Cape Town Geology – Stable Isotope Lab

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University Of Cape Town Geology – Stable Isotope Lab


The stable isotope laboratory has a number of extraction lines for the measurement of stable isotope ratios of O, C, and H in rock (silicates and carbonates), mineral and water samples.

  • A conventional silicate line utilising ClF3 with 10 nickel reaction vessels for the analysis of O in silicate rocks and minerals
  • A carbonate line for the extraction of CO2 in carbonate rocks and minerals using 100% phosphoric acid. This line is also used to determine oxygen isotope values in water samples
  • A hydrogen line for the analysis of H in rocks and mineral samples and water samples
  • A laser fluorination line for the analysis of 1-2 mg mineral samples using BrF5. Both δ17O and δ18 O are determined on O2 gas absorbed onto molecular sieve in sample bottles.

All samples are collected in glass ‘break-seal’ tubes which are analysed using a DeltaXP dual inlet gas source mass spectrometer housed in the Department of Archaeology.  Please contact Chris Harris for information on rates for work in the stable isotope laboratory.
For more information on the Stable Isotope Lab, please contact:
Prof. Chris Harris
chris.harris@uct.ac.za
(021) 650_2921
Room 352