Methodology: Boron Isotope Analysis


Extraction chromatography using boron-specific chelating resin (Amberlite IRA-743) following Giri et al., 2019. Amberlite IRA-743 designed to remove boric acid and borate from liquid.

Additional options: boron concentration (for an additional fee in conjunction with isotope measurements) and Sample cleaning (corals, shells, carbonates)

Sample types available for boron analysis: shells, corals, carbonates and water

More information on Sample Types and Selection for boron analysis

Isotope Measurement

Device: Neptune Plus multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) with a self-aspirating nebulizer following Giri et al. (2019) and Foster et al. (2013).


Reported as delta (δ) values in units of parts per thousand (per mill) (‰). Boron isotope ratios (δ11B) are reported relative to NIST SRM 951a – Boric Acid Isotopic Standard. Presented graphically on a plot which includes representative ranges of the boron isotopic composition (δ11B) of various materials. Uncertainties for each sample measurement is presented as the 95% confidence interval (CI). Exact methods and confidence intervals will be outlined in your sample report. 

Note: The lab offers boron concentration for an additional fee only in conjunction with the isotope measurements.

Boron isotope report

Boron values from different material

Plot of δ11B results for the tested samples (red circles) compared to a range of δ11B values from different materials in different environments.

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This video excerpt is part of Beta Analytic’s webinar: Boron Isotopic Analysis


Foster, G. L.;  Hönisch, B.; Pari, G.; Dwyer, G. S.; Rae, J.W.B.; Elliott, T.; Gaillardet, J.; Hemming, N. G.; Louvat, P.; Vengosh, A., (2013). Interlaboratory comparison of boron isotope analyses of boric acid, seawater and marine CaCO3 by MC-ICPMS and NTIMS. Chemical Geology, 358, pp. 1–14.

Giri, S.J., Swart, P.K. and Pourmand, A., (2019). The influence of seawater calcium ions on coral calcification mechanisms: Constraints from boron and carbon isotopes and B/Ca ratios in Pocillopora damicornis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 519, pp.130-140. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.05.008