Strontium Isotope Analysis – Sample Types and Selection

The following recommendations are general guidelines. Individual sample size requirements largely vary based on the sample type. Please feel free to contact us for advice if you are concerned that your samples are too small.

Reminders:

DO NOT wrap samples in aluminum or any metal foil. Use weighing paper if you need to wrap them.

Submit samples in a ziplock bag or teflon container with PRINTED SAMPLE ID attached outside the bag.

Always choose the best samples for your research objectives

Our recommended sample sizes assume the material is dry and free of adhering matrix.

Bone (non-ashed)

SAMPLE SIZE

500 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Ziplock bags

SAMPLE PREPARATION

For the best results, make sure your samples are clean and free from soil, clay particles, calcite and other detritus.

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Bone (ashed)

SAMPLE SIZE

100-150 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Vials

(preferably with screw tops)

Microcentrifuge tubes, or counting slides

SAMPLE PREPARATION

For the best results, make sure your samples are clean and free from soil, clay particles, calcite and other detritus. Ash samples in a quartz crucible at 850°C for 3 hours and transfer the residues into clean small glass or plastic vials. A larger sample size is required if we need to ash the samples. Samples are digested in 8 M nitric acid (lower concentrations may be used if the sample contains clay and detritus). if the sample contains clay and detritus). A larger sample size is required if we need to ash the samples.

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Forams (pre-extracted)

SAMPLE SIZE

10 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Vials

(preferably with screw tops)

Microcentrifuge tubes, or counting slides

SAMPLE PREPARATION

For the best results, make sure your samples are clean and free from clay particles and other detritus. Samples are digested in 6 M nitric acid (lower concentrations may be used if the sample contains clay and detritus).

ALSO AVAILABLE:
  • None

Igneous Rocks

SAMPLE SIZE

30-50 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Plastic or glass vials

SAMPLE PREPARATION

Rock samples need to be homogenized prior to submission. For effective sample dissolution, high-temperature flux fusion is the method of choice. Homogenized samples are fused at 1075°C with high-purity lithium metaborate (LiBO2, Puratronic) and ultra-pure grade lithium bromide to ensure complete recovery of the melt. The melt is directly digested in 6 M nitric acid. Sr isotope measurements can be conducted on smaller sample sizes, please consult the lab before submitting samples.

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Mineral Dust (ashed)

SAMPLE SIZE

150 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Vials

(preferably with screw tops)

Microcentrifuge tubes, or counting slides

SAMPLE PREPARATION

Aerosol samples collected on filter paper must be ashed entirely prior to submission. All organics must be removed from the sample either by ashing or with hydrogen peroxide. A larger sample size is required if we need to remove the organics or ash the samples. For effective sample dissolution, high-temperature flux fusion is the method of choice. Aerosol samples are fused at 1075°C with high-purity lithium metaborate (LiBO2, Puratronic) and ultra-pure grade lithium bromide to ensure complete recovery of the melt. The melt is directly digested in 6 M nitric acid. Sr isotope measurements can be conducted on smaller sample sizes, please consult the lab before submitting samples.

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Plant

SAMPLE SIZE

1-2 g (1000-2000 mg)

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Ziplock bags

SAMPLE PREPARATION

Samples need to be received pre-cleaned and in dry form.

ALSO AVAILABLE:
  • None at this time

Sediments (detrital, carbonate, or bulk)

SAMPLE SIZE

50 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Plastic or glass vials

Put them inside a labeled Ziplock bag

SAMPLE PREPARATION

All organics must be removed from the sample either by ashing or with hydrogen peroxide. All carbonate fractions must be removed if you wish to measure Sr isotopes only on siliciclastic fraction. A larger sample size is required if we need to remove the carbonates and organics from the samples. For effective sample dissolution, high-temperature flux fusion is the method of choice. Sediment samples will be fused at 1075°C with high-purity lithium metaborate (LiBO2, Puratronic) and ultra-pure grade lithium bromide to ensure complete recovery of the melt. The melt is directly digested in 6 M nitric acid. Sr isotope measurements can be conducted on smaller sample sizes, please consult the lab before submitting samples.

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Shells, Coral, Carbonates

SAMPLE SIZE

100-150 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Ziplock bags

SAMPLE PREPARATION

For the best results, make sure your samples are clean and free from clay particles and other detritus. Homogenize your samples, preferably using an agate mortar and pestle, and transfer into plastic or glass vials. Homogenized samples are digested in 6 M nitric acid (lower concentrations may be used if the sample contains clay and detritus).

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Stalagmite and Flowstone

SAMPLE SIZE

100 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Glass or plastic vials

SAMPLE PREPARATION

Homogenize your samples, preferably using an agate mortar and pestle, and transfer into plastic or glass vials. Homogenized samples are digested in 6 M nitric acid.

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Silk

SAMPLE SIZE

100-150 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Ziplock bags

SAMPLE PREPARATION

For the best results, make sure your samples are clean and free from soil, clay particles, calcite, and other detritus.

ALSO AVAILABLE:
  • None at this time

Tooth Enamel/Dentine

SAMPLE SIZE

100 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Vials

(preferably with screw tops)

Microcentrifuge tubes, or counting slides

SAMPLE PREPARATION

To remove non-biogenic Sr from enamel or bone, samples will be sequentially treated by 0.1 N acetic acid. Please contact the lab if you want to follow different protocols or you prefer to skip this stage.

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Water

SAMPLE SIZE

125 mL

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Small-neck plastic bottle

(HDPE, LDPE, PP)

DO NOT use glass vials

SAMPLE PREPARATION

Rinse the bottle with the running sample water prior to collection. Do not add any chemicals to the water, do not acidify the water. Fill the bottle all the way to the top, you may leave a small space at the top (keep the neck of the bottle empty) to allow for any necessary expansion during shipment. Please put the bottles inside a plastic bag and seal the bag with a zip-tie or duct tape. Clearly label both the bottle and the plastic bag.

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Wool

SAMPLE SIZE

75 mg

RECOMMENDED CONTAINER

Ziplock bags

SAMPLE PREPARATION

For the best results, make sure your samples are clean and free from soil, clay particles, calcite, and other detritus. Dye will be removed from the wool prior to digestion and extraction chromatography. Contact the lab if you are also interested in measuring strontium isotopes in dye fraction.

ALSO AVAILABLE:
  • Strontium Isotopes (dye fraction)

The lab also offers strontium concentration measurements for an additional fee and ONLY in conjunction with isotope analyses. Please consult the lab before submitting samples.


Duration: 2 minutes, 40 seconds || Speaker: Arash Sharifi, PhD
This video excerpt is part of Isobar Science’s webinar: Geochemistry and Application of Strontium Isotopes.
Disclaimer: This video is hosted in a third-party site and may contain advertising.