How to Measure Cr53 in Meteorites

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The cr53 method uses a multi-step anion chemistry to reduce Fe contamination. This method produces procedural blanks of less than 50 ppm of 54Cr compared to the hundreds of ppm correction needed by standard TIMS analyses. The resulting high precision in 54Cr measurement makes this method better suited to the analysis of small samples, such as those found in meteorites, where variations in bulk composition due to contaminant concentrations are larger than in individual fragments or chondrules.

Unlike traditional TIMS measurements, the multi-step approach allows for a simultaneous measurement of m53Cr and m54Cr with a high level of reproducibility. Repeated measurements of the peak performance standards indicate external reproducibility of 2.5 and 5.8 respectively, a two-fold improvement in performance compared to previous methods.

The stable isotope signature of chromium (d53/52Cr) in groundwater is thought to provide information on the oxygenation history of water. For example, d53/52Cr in leached laterite from Kastoria is positively fractionated, consistent with oxygenation of water during formation in anoxic conditions (Economou-Eliopoulos et al., 2016), whereas d53/52Cr in shallow aquifers contaminated by metal mining and other industrial activities is negatively fractionated (Novak et al., 2014).