Stable Isotope Laboratory

The Stable Isotope Laboratory in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Western Michigan University uses known stable isotope techniques for geochemical, hydrological and other environmental studies. Current research focuses on the hydrological cycle, paleoclimates, marine and fresh water biogeochemistry.

Triple Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer with monitor

Triple Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer

This laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. R.V. Krishnamurthy, is equipped with:

  • Micromass Optima Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (instructional purpose only)
  • Vaccum extraction lines
  • Constant temperature bath
  • Triple Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer


Stable Isotope Laboratory provides:

Triple isotope analysis of water samples (δ18O, δ17O, δD) using a Los Gatos Triple Isotope Analyzer

Additional charges may apply if samples require pretreatment. The charges (negotiable) are:

  • One to 50 samples = $40 (U.S.) per sample
  • 51 or more samples = $35 (U.S.) per sample

Training workshops and short courses in stable isotope hydrology

These two-week programs consist of lectures and hands-on training in the operation and maintenance of the laser based isotope analyzer, determination of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon in water samples and experiments with vacuum extraction lines. The lectures cover the basic aspects of stable isotope hydrology:

  • Introduction to the course

  • Isotopes

  • Fractionation effects

  • δ Notation

  • Standards

  • Theory of mass spectrometry

  • Lab tour

  • Oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratio in the water cycle

  • Rayleigh distillation

  • Lake hydrology

  • Carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the environment with focus on hydrologic applications

Participants will also have the opportunity to be involved through research paper presentations and reading.

The fees are:

  • One to five participants = $2,000 (U.S.) per week
  • Six to 10 participants = $1,800 (U.S.) per week
  • 11+ participants = $1,500 (U.S.) per week