The West Australian Biogeochemistry Centre

Analytical services

Further information

  • Sample Preparation
  • Sample Submission

The Centre routinely provides isotope analyses of solid materials, such as soils, carbonates, sediments, and plant and animal tissues.

We also provide analysis of 18O/16O, 2H/1H and 13C/12C (DIC and DOC) isotope ratios in liquid water samples. Contact us if you are interested in analyses of other matrices.


The sample size indicated is for one analysis. Larger sample sizes are preferred to ensure homogeneity of samples and to enable proper handling and repetitions where required.

Isotope Sample Type Machine Min. sample size depending on material Precision (‰) 1 σ Analysis time
δ13C and δ15N dual element (Natural Abundance) plant, soil or animal tissues SerCon 20-22 IRMS or Thermo Delta V IRMS with EA 1-50 mg δ13C ±0.10‰ 4-6 weeks
δ13C and δ15N dual element (Enriched) plant, soil or animal tissues SerCon 20-22 IRMS with EA 1-50 mg δ13C ±0.5‰ 4-6 weeks
δ15N ±0.5‰
δ34S (single element) plant, soil or animal tissues SerCon 20-22 IRMS with EA 1 mg BaSO4 δ34S ± 0.30 Contact us for timeframe
δ13C and δ18O (dual element) carbonates Thermo Delta XL IRMS with Gasbench II 0.1-0.5 mg δ13C ±0.10‰ 6 weeks
δ18O ±0.2‰
δ13C (single element) dissolved inorganic carbon (liquid), CO2 Thermo Delta XL IRMS with Gasbench II 2 mL δ13C ± 0.10 6 weeks
δ13C (single element) dissolved organic carbon (liquid) Thermo Delta V IRMS with LC Isolink 2 mL δ13C ± 0.30 Contact us for timeframe
δ2H and δ18O (dual element) liquid and vapour water Picarro Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer 2 mL δ18O ±0.10‰ 4-6 weeks
δ2H ±1.0‰
δ18O (single element) organic material, phosphates, sulphates Delta XL IRMS with TC/EA 0.5-1.0 mg δ18O ± 0.30 6 weeks


Further information

We are actively working to improve analytical techniques and mathematical algorithms.

Please refer to our publications for details of several laboratory procedures,

  • Skrzypek G., Ford D. 2018, Reference materials selection for the stable carbon isotope analysis of dissolved carbon using a wet oxidation system. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. (in press, doi: 10.1002/rcm.8351).
  • Skrzypek G,Ford D. (2014) Stable isotope analyses of saline water samples on a cavity ring-down spectroscopy instrument. Environmental Science & Technology 48, 2827-2834 (DOI: 10.1021/es4049412).
  • Skrzypek G. (2013) Normalization procedures and reference material selection in stable HCNOS isotope analyses – an overview. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 405 (9), 2815-23 (DOI: 10.1007/s00216-012-6517-2).
  • Skrzypek G, Sadler R. (2011) A strategy for selection of reference materials in stable oxygen isotope analyses of solid materials. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 25, 1625-1630.
  • Halas S, Skrzypek G, Meier-Augenstein W, Pelc A, Kemp H. (2011) Inter-laboratory calibration of new silver orthophosphate comparison materials for stable oxygen isotope analysis of phosphates. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 25, 579-584.
  • Skrzypek G, Sadler R, Paul D. (2010) Error propagation in normalization of stable isotope data: a Monte Carlo analysis. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 24, 2697-2705.
  • Paul D, Skrzypek G, Forizs I. (2007) Normalization of measured stable isotope composition to isotope reference scale – a review. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 21, 3006-3014.
  • Paul D and Skrzypek G. (2007) Assessment of Carbonate-Phosphoric acid analytical technique performed using GasBench II in continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 262, 180-186.
  • Skrzypek G and Paul D. (2006) δ13C Analyses of calcium carbonate: comparison between the GasBench and Elemental Analyzer techniques. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 20, 2915-2920.
  • Paul D, Skrzypek G. (2006) Flushing time and storage effects on the accuracy and precision of carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of sample using the GasBench II technique. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 20, 2033-2040.

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Last updated:
Thursday, 26 November, 2020 11:48 AM