Colorado School of Mines Stable Isotope Laboratory


The Colorado School of Mines Stable Isotope Laboratory was first established in 1991 with the acquisition of a VG 602E stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer.  The lab was later upgraded to a triple-collecting VG 903 instrument.  After many years of valiant service, these two instruments were retired.  A new era of stable isotope analysis and research began to take place around the installation and set-up surrounding a new nucleus of a GV Instruments IsoPrime gas-sourced isotope ratio mass spectrometer.

Fully on line by 2004, the lab possesses capabilities of measuring the stable isotope ratios of H, C, N, O, and S in an extremely wide array of sample matrices.  The IsoPrime is the keystone around which several on-line preparation devices deliver gases to the source. Traditional dual-inlet applications (carbonates, waters, off-line prepared gases) are routinely used for automated analysis.

Continuous-flow instrumentation, centered on two elemental analyzers and a cryo-focused trace-gas preconcentrator, also interface with the IsoPrime nucleus.  Common applications include phosphates, nitrates, sulfates, sulfides, waters, organics, soils, oil, methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide.

CSM’s stable isotope lab website:

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Front Range Isotope Group