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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 3, issue 5
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 3, 1307–1317, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-3-1307-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 3, 1307–1317, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-3-1307-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  05 Oct 2010

05 Oct 2010

A new CF-IRMS system for quantifying stable isotopes of carbon monoxide from ice cores and small air samples

Z. Wang and J. E. Mak Z. Wang and J. E. Mak
  • Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA

Abstract. We present a new analysis technique for stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ18O) of atmospheric carbon monoxide (CO) from ice core samples. The technique is an online cryogenic vacuum extraction followed by continuous-flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry (CF-IRMS); it can also be used with small air samples. The CO extraction system includes two multi-loop cryogenic cleanup traps, a chemical oxidant for oxidation to CO2, a cryogenic collection trap, a cryofocusing unit, gas chromatography purification, and subsequent injection into a Finnigan Delta Plus IRMS. Analytical precision of 0.2‰ (±1δ) for δ13C and 0.6‰ (±1δ) for δ18O can be obtained for 100 mL (STP) air samples with CO mixing ratios ranging from 60 ppbv to 140 ppbv (~268–625 pmol CO). Six South Pole ice core samples from depths ranging from 133 m to 177 m were processed for CO isotope analysis after wet extraction. To our knowledge, this is the first measurement of stable isotopes of CO in ice core air.

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