Analytical Method for Lithium Isotopes Determination by Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry: A Useful Tool for Hydrogeochemical Applications release_6pgi7x4ntje2ho47jy3fat6atu

by Ilenia Arienzo, Marcello Liotta, Lorenzo Brusca, Massimo D'Antonio, Federica Lupone, Ciro CUCCINIELLO

Published in Water by MDPI AG.

2020   Volume 12, p2182


The low temperature realm such as the geothermal systems, characterized by a large variety of near-Earth surface processes, has been the object of several isotopic studies, some of them including lithium isotopes. However, much work can still be done to systematically use lithium as tracer of geochemical processes in deep and shallow Earth reservoirs. A pilot study has been performed for the determination of lithium-isotope ratio by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), a technique poorly employed with respect to other methods such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, being more time consuming. Lithium has been extracted by chromatographic techniques on columns through an ion exchange process from both natural and reference samples. The isotope composition (6Li/7Li) expressed in terms of δ7Li has been determined in dynamic and static mode for comparative purposes, by using two different types of thermal ionization mass spectrometers. The results presented in this work agree with the data reported in the literature, opening a new perspective to future research on continental geothermal systems and groundwater domains, spread over the entire Italian peninsula. This research is based on the use of chemical and isotopic data, whereas it does not include lithium isotopes. These latter may provide a huge contribution in studying both volcanic products and fluids from active volcanic areas, including the superposed geothermal systems, and may represent a new tool for research and surveillance.
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