Methods Detail

Stable isotopes of fluid inclusions

Fluid inclusions are microscopic vacuoles in crystals trapping minute amounts of palaeowater from which e.g. dripstones formed. Determining the stable isotopic composition of inclusion water is a major challenge and only a handful of laboratories worldwide have such capabilities.

Our system consists of a custom-made crushing cell and a cryo-focusing device interfaced with TC/EA and a ThermoFisher Delta V Advantage mass spectrometer. Operated in continuous-flow mode this setup allows to perform dual measurements of the hydrogen and oxygen isotope values of sub-microlitre quantities of water released from inclusions. For a detailed description of the Innsbruck system refer to Dubylansky & Spötl (2009).