Methodology: Strontium Isotope Analysis

Extraction chromatography followed by analysis on a multi-collector–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) is a very efficient method for routine high-precision isotope and elemental analyses of strontium. Pairing the MC-ICP-MS with a laser ablation system (LA-MC-ICP-MS) can provide high-resolution in situ elemental/isotopic compositions of solid samples (>5 mm for profile analysis) with more efficiency and lower sample consumption. Application of LA-MC-ICP-MS not only increases the analytical efficiency but also reduces the sample size and avoids complications associated with sample digestion. 

Analytical Method

Strontium purification: Strontium is separated from the matrix elements by means of extraction chromatography using Eichrom Sr-specific cation exchange resin following the methods of Pourmand and Dauphas (2010) and Pourmand et al. (2014). 

Strontium isotope analysis: Strontium isotope measurements are performed with a Neptune Plus multi-collection inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) following the method in Pourmand et al., 2014. 

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

Sample Requirements

The 87Sr/86Sr ratio can be measured in various sample types such as bone/teeth, water, corals and foraminifera, carbonate rocks, igneous and metamorphic rocks, mineral dust, plants and tissues, and hair. The sample size for Sr isotopic measurements varies from 10 to 1000 mg and 1 to 100 ml for solid and water samples, respectively, depending on the concentration of Sr in the sample.

For more information, visit our page on Samples Type and Selection.


Pourmand, A.; Prospero, J. M. and Sharifi, A., 2014: Geochemical fingerprinting of trans-Atlantic African dust based on radiogenic Sr-Nd-Hf isotopes and rare earth element anomalies. GEOLOGY, vol.42, pp.675-678. 

Pourmand, A. and Dauphas, N., 2010. Distribution coefficients of 60 elements on TODGA resin: 28 Application to Ca, Lu, Hf, U and Th isotope geochemistry. Talanta 81, 741-753.