Online preconcentration ICP-MS analysis of rare earth elements in seawater

Hathorne, Ed C., Haley, Brian, Stichel, Torben, Grasse, Patricia, Zieringer, Moritz and Frank, Martin (2012) Online preconcentration ICP-MS analysis of rare earth elements in seawater Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 13 (1). Q01020. DOI 10.1029/2011GC003907.

2012_Hathorne_etal_G3_2011GC003907.pdf - Published Version

Download (764Kb)

Supplementary data:


The rare earth elements (REEs) with their systematically varying properties are powerful tracers of continental inputs, particle scavenging intensity and the oxidation state of seawater. However, their generally low (∼pmol/kg) concentrations in seawater and fractionation potential during chemical treatment makes them difficult to measure. Here we report a technique using an automated preconcentration system, which efficiently separates seawater matrix elements and elutes the preconcentrated sample directly into the spray chamber of an ICP-MS instrument. The commercially available “seaFAST” system (Elemental Scientific Inc.) makes use of a resin with ethylenediaminetriacetic acid and iminodiacetic acid functional groups to preconcentrate REEs and other metals while anions and alkali and alkaline earth cations are washed out. Repeated measurements of seawater from 2000 m water depth in the Southern Ocean allows the external precision (2σ) of the technique to be estimated at <23% for all REEs and <15% for most. Comparison of Nd concentrations with isotope dilution measurements for 69 samples demonstrates that the two techniques generally agree within 15%. Accuracy was found to be good for all REEs by using a five point standard addition analysis of one sample and comparing measurements of mine water reference materials diluted with a NaCl matrix with recommended values in the literature. This makes the online preconcentration ICP-MS technique advantageous for the minimal sample preparation required and the relatively small sample volume consumed (7 mL) thus enabling large data sets for the REEs in seawater to be rapidly acquired.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Biological Oceanography; Marine chemistry; ICP-MS; rare earth elements; marine geochemistry; trace elements
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2011GC003907
ISSN: 1525-2027
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2012 11:48
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2018 14:29

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...