Sub-Permil Interlaboratory Consistency for Solution-Based Boron Isotope Analyses on Marine Carbonates

Marcus Gutjahr, Louise Bordier, Eric Douville, Jesse Farmer, Gavin L. Foster, Ed C. Hathorne, Bärbel Hönisch, Damien Lemarchand, Pascale Louvat, Malcolm McCulloch, Johanna Noireaux, Nicola Pallavicini, James W.B. Rae, Ilia Rodushkin, Philippe Roux, Joseph A. Stewart, François Thil, Chen Feng You

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Boron isotopes in marine carbonates are increasingly used to reconstruct seawater pH and atmospheric pCO2 through Earth’s history. While isotope ratio measurements from individual laboratories are often of high quality, it is important that records generated in different laboratories can equally be compared. Within this Boron Isotope Intercomparison Project (BIIP), we characterised the boron isotopic composition (commonly expressed in δ11B) of two marine carbonates: Geological Survey of Japan carbonate reference materials JCp-1 (coral Porites) and JCt-1 (giant clam Tridacna gigas). Our study has three foci: (a) to assess the extent to which oxidative pre-treatment, aimed at removing organic material from carbonate, can influence the resulting δ11B; (b) to determine to what degree the chosen analytical approach may affect the resultant δ11B; and (c) to provide well-constrained consensus δ11B values for JCp-1 and JCt-1. The resultant robust mean and associated robust standard deviation (s*) for un-oxidised JCp-1 is 24.36 ± 0.45‰ (2s*), compared with 24.25 ± 0.22‰ (2s*) for the same oxidised material. For un-oxidised JCt-1, respective compositions are 16.39 ± 0.60‰ (2s*; un-oxidised) and 16.24 ± 0.38‰ (2s*; oxidised). The consistency between laboratories is generally better if carbonate powders were oxidatively cleaned prior to purification and measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-75
Number of pages17
JournalGeostandards and Geoanalytical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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