Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Tonarini S., Pennisi M., Gonfiantini R. Boron isotope determination in waters and other geological materials: Analytical techniques and inter-calibration of measurements. In: Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, vol. 45 (2) pp. 169 - 183. Taylor & Francis Group, 2009.
The 11B/10B ratio exhibits wide variations in nature; thus, boron isotopes have found numerous applications in geochemistry, hydrology, and environmental studies. The main analytical techniques used are as follows: positive thermal ionisation mass spectrometry is the most precise (about 0.2 of the boron isotope ratio), but requires complex and laborious sample preparation; negative thermal ionisation mass spectrometry is less precise (about 0.5), but rapid and suitable for water samples, whereas total evaporation-NTIMS allows for identification of the precise boron isotope composition of marine carbonates. It is expected that multi-collection system inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) will eventually combine high precision with simple analytical procedures. Secondary ion mass spectrometry and laser ablation (LA)-MC-ICPMS allow in situ determinations on solid samples, but require the availability of calibration materials which are chemically and mineralogically similar to samples. These features of boron isotope measurement techniques were confirmed by the results of the first inter-laboratory comparison of measurements, organised by the Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse in Pisa. Finally, two examples of boron isotope applications in groundwater investigations are reported.
URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/gieh20
Subject analytical techniques
isotope measurement methods and equipment

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