Resolution of inter-laboratory discrepancies in Mo isotope data: An intercalibration

Tatiana Goldberg, Gwyneth Gordon, Gareth Izon, Corey Archer, Christopher R. Pearce, James McManus, Ariel D. Anbar, Mark Rehkämper

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137 Scopus citations


The molybdenum (Mo) stable isotope system has been applied to a variety of geochemical and environmental problems. In the absence of a universally accepted zero-delta reference material, different groups report their data relative to their adopted in-house standards. Rigorous comparison of results generated in different laboratories using different analytical approaches is only possible if the in-house standards are of identical Mo isotope composition. To determine potential isotopic differences among various standards, the δ 98Mo (98Mo/95Mo) values of ten Mo standard solutions were measured as part of this study. For six of these solutions, four laboratories carried out an intercalibration. In contrast to previous results, δ98Mo of various in-house standards were found to differ by up to 0.37‰. Renormalisation of our new and published Mo-isotope data available for seawater taken from various sites and the USGS rock reference material SDO-1 relative to NIST-SRM-3134, provides a much better agreement among reported δ98Mo values for these samples. Relative to NIST-SRM-3134, the δ98Mo of SDO-1 is 0.80 ± 0.14‰ (2s), while oxic, open-ocean seawater is characterised by an average δ98Mo of 2.09 ± 0.10‰ (2s). This intercalibration provides a solid platform for comparing and amending existing δ98Mo values. In addition, we recommend that future Mo isotope studies adopt NIST-SRM-3134 as a universal zero-delta reference material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-735
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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