U.S.-China Ecopartnership for Environmental Sustainability - USCEES

Ecopartnership Short Course: Using Traditional, Normal and Mass Independent Isotope Effects To...

May 8 - May 12 @ - Chinese University of Geosciences, Beijing


Ecopartnership Short Course: Using Traditional, Normal and Mass Independent Isotope Effects To Understand Biogeochemistry in Modern and Ancient Systems

Short Course at the School of the Environment-Beijing Normal University May 8-May 12 2012

Using traditional, normal and mass independent isotope effects to understand biogeochemistry in modern and ancient system

Professors Greg Michalski and Timothy Filley

US-China Ecopartnership for Environmental Sustainability and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, USA

This one-week course will demonstrate how stable isotopes can be used to
understand biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen, carbon and sulfur in contemporary and ancient geologic systems. The course will emphasize how mass independent isotope compositions in oxygen and sulfur can be used to assess the importance of atmosphere-surface interactions and manifest themselves in soils and the geologic record. The course will involve both morning and afternoon sessions.


General Lecture Topics Covered Include

  • Fundamentals of stable isotope biogeochemistry: Notation, mass balance, kinetic and equilibrium effects.
  • Applications of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope modeling for N/C source and turnover calculations.
  • Mass independent isotope (MIF) effects.
  • MIF in atmospheric nitrate and tracing NOx oxidation chemistry.
  • Using nitrate MIF to trace N cycling in aquatic and soil systems.
  • Origin of the nitrate deposits found in global deserts.
  • The rise of O2 2 billion years ago inferred from MIF in Achaean sulfides and sulfates.
  • Disturbance to soil organic matter: Ecosystem engineering, ecosystem shifts, climate change.

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