For the next few months I will be a visitor at the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge. I don’t have very good timing as their labs are currently being renovated but fingers crossed it doesn’t take too long before I can get in them. In the meantime I am learning how to use the Neptune (a multi-collector inductively-coupled-plasma mass-spectrometer MC-ICP-MS) which I plan to use to measure lithium (Li) isotopes in my field samples.

I’m interested in measuring lithium because the sites in Svalbard contain shale which has a high clay content. Li isotopes fractionate when they adsorb or are incorporated into clays and likely to different degrees depending on the type of clay. The two sites have different clay compositions so I expect them to have different Li isotope compositions in the water too.