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Analyzing nitrogen in silicate glasses by secondary ion mass spectrometry

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Volcanic devolatilization is one of the major processes in the global nitrogen cycle. Past studies have often estimated the magnitude of this flux using volcanic emission measurements, which are limited to currently active systems and sensitive to atmospheric contamination. A

Volcanic devolatilization is one of the major processes in the global nitrogen cycle. Past studies have often estimated the magnitude of this flux using volcanic emission measurements, which are limited to currently active systems and sensitive to atmospheric contamination. A different methodological approach requires appropriate analytical parameters for nitrogen analysis in silicate glasses by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), which have not yet been established. To this end, we analyze various ion implanted basaltic and rhyolitic glasses by SIMS. We demonstrate that water content significantly affects the ion yields of 14N+ and 14N16O−, as well as the background intensity of 14N+ and 12C+. Application of implant-derived calibrations to natural samples provide the first reported concentrations of nitrogen in melt inclusions. These measurements are from samples from the Bishop Tuff in California, the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff of the Yellowstone Volcanic Center, and material from the Okaia and Oruanui eruptions in the Taupo Volcanic Center. In all studied material, we find maximum nitrogen contents of less than 45 ppm and that nitrogen concentration varies positively with CO2 concentration, which is interpreted to reflect partial degassing trend. Using the maximum measured nitrogen contents for each eruption, we find that the Bishop released >3.6 x 1013 g of nitrogen, the Huckleberry Ridge released >1.3 x 1014 g, the Okaia released >1.1 x 1011 g of nitrogen, the Oruanui released >4.7 x 1013 g of nitrogen. Simple calculations suggest that with concentrations such as these, rhyolitic eruptions may ephemerally increase the nitrogen flux to the atmosphere, but are insignificant compared to the 4 x 1021 g of nitrogen stored in the atmosphere.

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2016

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Quantifying Chalcophile Elements and Heavy Halogens by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry and Demonstrating the Significant Effect of Different Secondary Ion Normalizing Procedures

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A novel technique for measuring heavy trace elements in geologic materials with secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is presented. This technique combines moderate levels of mass resolving power (MRP) with energy filtering in order to remove molecular ion interferences while

A novel technique for measuring heavy trace elements in geologic materials with secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is presented. This technique combines moderate levels of mass resolving power (MRP) with energy filtering in order to remove molecular ion interferences while maintaining enough sensitivity to measure trace elements. The technique was evaluated by measuring a set of heavy chalcophilic elements in two sets of doped glasses similar in composition to rhyolites and basalts, respectively. The normalized count rates of Cu, As, Se, Br, and Te were plotted against concentrations to test that the signal increased linearly with concentration. The signal from any residual molecular ion interferences (e.g. ²⁹Si³⁰Si¹⁶O on ⁷⁵As) represented apparent concentrations ≤ 1 μg/g for most of the chalcophiles in rhyolitic matrices and between 1 and 10 μg/g in basaltic compositions. This technique was then applied to two suites of melt inclusions from the Bandelier Tuff: Ti-rich, primitive and Ti-poor, evolved rhyolitic compositions. The results showed that Ti-rich inclusions contained ~30 μg/g Cu and ~3 μg/g As while the Ti-poor inclusions contained near background Cu and ~6 μg/g As. Additionally, two of the Ti-rich inclusions contained > 5 μg/g of Sb and Te, well above background. Other elements were at or near background. This suggests certain chalcophilic elements may be helpful in unraveling processes relating to diversity of magma sources in large eruptions. Additionally, an unrelated experiment is presented demonstrating changes in the matrix effect on SIMS counts when normalizing against ³⁰Si⁺ versus ²⁸Si²⁺. If one uses doubly charged silicon as a reference, (common when using large-geometry SIMS instruments to study the light elements Li - C) it is important that the standards closely match the major element chemistry of the unknown.

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2021