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Stable Isotope Geosciences Facility

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Established on the TAMU campus in College Station in 2009, the Stable Isotope Geosciences Facility is designed to provide accessible, reliable and high-quality stable isotope measurements and training for faculty, staff and students within the College of Geosciences and the Texas A&M community. It was also created as a facility where state-of-the-art methodologies and technological developments in stable isotopes could be applied to important societal problems related to energy, ecology, Earth history, and the environment.

Beyond the TAMU community, the SIGF has strong research links with scientists and students from other universities and industry who require precise measurements. The facility continues to be recognized for its quality work and research, and to operate on the core values of Texas A&M University.

SIGF announces the Stable Isotope Partnership for Ecology, Environment, and Energy Research (SIPEEER)

The Stable Isotope Geosciences Facility (SIGF) in the College of Geosciences, and the Stable Isotopes for Biosphere Science (SIBS) Laboratory in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have teamed up to better integrate the two light stable isotope ratio facilities on campus, and to add needed capabilities to serve the greater TAMU and regional community.  Funded by a $5 million initiative from the Chancellor’s office to support mass spectrometry, SIGF and SIBS will share $1 million to purchase four new instruments: a clumped isotope mass spectrometer (CIMS) and a gas chromatograph-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometer system (GC-C-MS-IRMS), and two additional IRMS to couple with Elemental Analyzers and other peripherals, delivering to TAMU a stable isotope capability unmatched in Texas and the region.

The clumped isotope mass spectrometer (CIMS) measures the concentration of molecules with two rare isotopes, for example, 13C18O16O/12C16O2. This ratio in carbonate rocks and minerals is temperature dependent, providing a geothermometer for pore-filling carbonate cements, sedimentary basin temperatures, and ocean and terrestrial paleoclimate studies. The CIMS would be housed at SIGF. A second instrument, the GC-C-MS-IRMS, separates and identifies compounds with gas chromatography and quadrupole mass spectrometry, then quantifies isotopic composition through a combustion or pyrolysis interface to an IRMS. This system would provide cutting-edge capabilities to track sources and fates of specific biochemical compounds through the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere, expanding the interpretation of bulk isotopic measurement. The instrument would be housed in the SIBS Laboratory. 

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