Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Method article
10 Mar 2017
Method article |  | 10 Mar 2017

Measurement of geologic nitrogen using mass spectrometry, colorimetry, and a newly adapted fluorometry technique

Benjamin W. Johnson, Natashia Drage, Jody Spence, Nova Hanson, Rana El-Sabaawi, and Colin Goldblatt

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Cited articles

Ader, M., Thomazo, C., Sansjofre, P., Busigny, V., Papineau, D., Laffont, R., Cartigny, P., and Halverson, G. P.: Interpretation of the nitrogen isotopic composition of Precambrian sedimentary rocks: Assumptions and perspectives, Chem. Geol., 429, 93–110, 2016.
Barry, P. and Hilton, D.: Release of subducted sedimentary nitrogen throughout Earth's mantle, Geochemical Perspectives Letters, 2, 148–159, 2016.
Barry, P., Hilton, D., Halldórsson, S., Hahm, D., and Marti, K.: High precision nitrogen isotope measurements in oceanic basalts using a static triple collection noble gas mass spectrometer, Geochem. Geophys. Geosys., 13, 1–16,, 2012.
Bebout, G. and Fogel, M.: Nitrogen-isotope compositions of metasedimentary rocks in the Catalina Schist, California: implications for metamorphic devolatilization history, Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 56, 2839–2849,, 1992.
Boyd, S. R.: Determination of the ammonium content of potassic rocks and minerals by capacitance manometry: a prelude to the calibration of FTIR microscopes, Chem. Geol., 137, 57–66,, 1997.
Short summary
Contrary to canonical notions, recent research suggests that N can cycle throughout the solid Earth over geologic time. Such cycling may directly affect climate and biologic productivity. Due to low concentrations in rocks and minerals, analysis and interpretation are difficult. Therefore, we adapted a fluorometry technique used in aquatic chemistry for use on geologic samples. We compare fluorometry to mass spectrometry and present discussion of the abundance of N in continental crust.