Isotopic Analysis

There is way more to water than meets the eye. Amongst other things, water contains information on its own age and origin. During phase changes the isotopic content of water is altered by natural fragmentation. In the course of the hydrological cycle, light and heavy water molecules get separated from each other. Isotope contents thereby vary during single precipitation events, on seasonal cycles, and over the cold and warm ages of the Earth’s past. Based on this segmentation, modern isotope analytics use H2O as natural and stable environmental tracers. Isotope analyses deliver valuable information on the age and origin of the sampled water, providing a better understanding of groundwater recharge rates, specific atmospheric processes, and paleoclimatic conditions. For direct analysis of the stable water isotopes 18O, 17O and 2H from liquid samples, we at GEORESEARCH are using cutting-edge laser absorption spectrometry from Los Gatos Research (OA-ICOS).