Automated calibration of laser spectrometer measurements of δ¹⁸O and δ²H values in water vapour using a dew point generator

Munksgaard, Niels C., Cheesman, Alexander W., Gray-Spence, Andrew, Cernusak, Lucas A., and Bird, Michael I. (2018) Automated calibration of laser spectrometer measurements of δ¹⁸O and δ²H values in water vapour using a dew point generator. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 32 (12). pp. 1008-1014.

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Rationale: Continuous measurement of stable O and H isotope compositions in water vapour requires automated calibration for remote field deployments. We developed a new low-cost device for calibration of both water vapour mole fraction and isotope composition.

Methods: We coupled a commercially available dew point generator (DPG) to a laser spectrometer and developed hardware for water and air handling along with software for automated operation and data processing. We characterised isotopic fractionation in the DPG, conducted a field test and assessed the influence of critical parameters on the performance of the device.

Results: An analysis time of 1hour was sufficient to achieve memory-free analysis of two water vapour standards and the O-18 and H-2 values were found to be independent of water vapour concentration over a range of approximate to 20,000-33,000ppm. The reproducibility of the standard vapours over a 10-day period was better than 0.14 and 0.75 parts per thousand for delta O-18 and delta H-2 values, respectively (1 sigma, n=11) prior to drift correction and calibration. The analytical accuracy was confirmed by the analysis of a third independent vapour standard. The DPG distillation process requires that isotope calibration takes account of DPG temperature, analysis time, injected water volume and air flow rate.

Conclusions: The automated calibration system provides high accuracy and precision and is a robust, cost-effective option for long-term field measurements of water vapour isotopes. The necessary modifications to the DPG are minor and easily reversible.

Item ID: 53888
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1097-0231
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP150100588, ARC LE110100144
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2018 07:50
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410501 Environmental biogeochemistry @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961199 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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