A stable-isotope mass spectrometer for novel determinations of past temperatures (ARC LIEF Administered by University of Wollongong) (2008)
The acquisition of a specialised stable-isotope mass spectrometer, dedicated to 'clumped' isotopes, will permit five institutions to engage in a revolutionary advance in determining past environmental and geological temperatures. 'Clumped isotopes' are the rare isotopes (e.g. the 13 C- 18 O bond, within carbonate minerals) whose distribution has recently been shown to be temperature-dependent but independent of bulk oxygen-isotope composition. Accordingly, it is practical to measure the past temperatures (+ 2 oC) of the Earth's oceans through much of geological time, and to estimate the temperatures of past soil-forming processes and air temperatures, and to constrain evaporative processes in open hydrological systems.