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An improved method for delta 15N measurements in ice cores

Mani, Francis S. and Dennis, P. and Sturges, W.T. and Mulvaney, R. and Leuenberger, M. (2008) An improved method for delta 15N measurements in ice cores. Climate of the Past Discussions, 4 . pp. 149-171. ISSN 1814-9359

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The use of isotopic ratios of nitrogen gas (;415N) trapped in ice cores as a paleothermometer to characterise abrupt climate changes is becoming a widespread technique. The versatility of the technique could be enhanced, for instance in quantifying small temperature changes during the last glacial period in Antarctic ice cores, by using high precision methods. In this paper, we outline a method for measuring ;415N to a precision of 0.006\permil (1<3, n=9) from replicate ice core samples. The high precision results from removing oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour from the air extracted from ice cores. The advantage of the technique is that it does not involve correction for isobaric interference due to CO+ ions. We also highlight the importance of oxygen removal from the sample, and how it influences ;415N measurements. The results show that a small amount of oxygen in the sample can be detrimental to achieving an optimum precision in ;415N measurements of atmospheric nitrogen trapped ice core samples.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Depositing User: Francis Mani
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2013 02:15
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2017 04:03

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