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NIST RM 8301 boron isotopes in marine carbonate (simulated coral and foraminifera solutions): inter-laboratory δ11B and trace element ratio value assignment

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Joseph A. Stewart, Steven J. Christopher, John R. Kucklick, Louise Bordier, Thomas B. Chalk, Arnaud Dapoigny, Eric Douville, Gavin L. Foster, William R. Gray, Rosanna Greenop, Marcus Gutjahr, Freya Hemsing, Michael J. Henehan, Philip Holdship, Yu-Te Hsieh, Ana Kolevica, Yen-Po Lin, Elaine M. Mawbey, James W.B. Rae, Laura F. Robinson & 4 more Rachael Shuttleworth, Chen-Feng You, Shuang Zhang, Russell D. Day

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The boron isotopic (δ11BSRM951) and trace element composition of marine carbonates are key proxies for understanding carbon cycling (pH) and palaeoceanographic change. However, comparability of results between laboratories requires carbonate reference materials. Here we report results of an inter‐laboratory comparison study to both assign δ11BSRM951 and trace element compositions to new marine carbonate reference materials (RM), NIST RM 8301 (Coral) and NIST RM 8301 (Foram) and to assess analytical variability among laboratories. Non‐certified reference values and expanded 95% uncertainties for δ11BSRM951 in NIST RM 8301 (Coral) (+24.17‰ ± 0.18‰) and NIST RM 8301 (Foram) (+14.51‰ ± 0.17‰) solutions were assigned by consensus approach using inter‐laboratory data. Differences reported among laboratories were considerably smaller than some previous inter‐laboratory comparisons, yet discrepancies could still lead to large differences in calculated seawater pH. Similarly, variability in reported trace element information values among laboratories (e.g., Mg/Ca ± 5%) was often greater than analytical precision (% RSD) within a single laboratory (e.g., Mg/Ca < 2%). Such differences potentially alter proxy‐reconstructed seawater temperature by more than 2 °C. These now well‐characterised solutions are useful reference materials to help the palaeoceanographic community build a comprehensive view of past ocean changes.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalGeostandards and Geoanalytical Research
VolumeEarky View
Early online date30 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2020

    Research areas

  • Boron isotopes, Trace elements, Reference materials, Coral, Foraminifera

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