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Measurement of in situ sulfur isotopes by laser ablation multi-collector ICPMS: opening Pandora’s Box

September 25, 2015

Laser ablation multi-collector ICPMS is a modern tool for in situ measurement of S isotopes. Advantages of the technique are speed of analysis and relatively minor matrix effects combined with spatial resolution sufficient for many applications. The main disadvantage is a more destructive sampling mechanism relative to the ion microprobe technique. Recent advances in instrumentation allow precise measurement with spatial resolutions down to 25 microns. We describe specific examples from economic geology where increased spatial resolution has greatly expanded insights into the sources and evolution of fluids that cause mineralization and illuminated genetic relations between individual deposits in single mineral districts.