Determination of lead isotopes in a new Greenland deep ice core at the sub-picogram per gram level by thermal ionization mass spectrometry using an improved decontamination method
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An improved decontamination method and ultraclean analytical procedures have been developed to minimize Pb contamination of processed glacial ice cores and to achieve reliable determination of Pb isotopes in North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) deep ice core sections with concentrations at the sub-picogram per gram level. A PL-7 (Fuso Chemical) silica-gel activator has replaced the previously used colloidal silica activator produced by Merck and has been shown to provide sufficiently enhanced ion beam intensity for Pb isotope analysis for a few tens of picograms of Pb. Considering the quantities of Pb contained in the NEEM Greenland ice core and a sample weight of 10 g used for the analysis, the blank contribution from the sample treatment was observed to be negligible. The decontamination and analysis of the artificial ice cores and selected NEEM Greenland ice core sections confirmed the cleanliness and effectiveness of the overall analytical process.
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