MPI-AWI Stable Isotope Laboratory
The Stable Isotope Laboratory is run jointly by the Melnikov Permafrost Institute (MPI) and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany (AWI). It was established under the Agreement between MPI and AWI signed in October 2017 to study stable water isotopes (18O and 2H) in atmospheric precipitation, ground ice, surface water, and ground water. In the first phase, it is dedicated to provide high quality water isotope data from mutual field activities in the permafrost zone of Yakutia and within projects of both institutions.
The analytical equipment consists of a Picarro L2140i triple-isotope analyzer, a vaporizer and an autosampler, as well as peripherals (vacuum pumps, etc.). The analyzer enables simultaneous measurements of δ18O, δ17O, and δD and determines 17O-excess to sub 15 per meg (<0.015‰).
Measurements of the stable isotope ratios of oxygen (18O/16O) and hydrogen (2Н/1H) are useful tools to understand geocryological processes by studying the distribution of the isotope compositions of water and ice in the cryosphere. Stable isotope ratios in precipitation, surface and ground waters, as well as ground ice can be used to deduce temperatures in condensation regions, to ascertain moisture transport paths and hydrological situations, to reconstruct temperatures in precipitation and ice crystallization areas, and to obtain information for paleoenvironmental reconstructions.
Picarro L2140i isotope analyzer.