Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

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Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

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Research in this unit

The Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry group is made up of geologists, chemists, biologists, environmentalists, and archaeologists that is focused on the study of the isotopic traceability of essential elements in the terrestrial biogeochemical cycles (C-N-O-H-S), thereby allowing evaluation of the interaction between lithosphere-biosphere-hydrosphere -atmosphere throughout the history of the Earth.

The group has been a pioneer in Spain in the analysis of isotopic ratios (13C/12C, 18O/16O, 15N/14N, 34S/32S and D/H) of minerals, organic matter, water and gases, applied to paleoclimatology studies, diagenetic and hydrothermal processes, the origin of mineral deposits, storage of CO2 and radioactive waste, origin and evolution of pollutants, food traceability, oceanography, Global Change, etc. It has a relatively well-equipped laboratory that can analyze stable isotopes in most types of samples.



The fundamental objectives of the group address both basic and applied science aspects, as well as purely methodological ones.

1.- Isotopic traceability of oxygen, carbon and nitrogen in biosphere-geosphere interactions.

2.- Effects of Global Change on different continental and marine ecosystems.

3.- Balances between respiration and photosynthesis in the oceans: isotopic traceability.

4.- Paleoclimatology and paleohydrology of the Quaternary.

5.- Origin and processes related to the contamination of continental and marine waters by nitrates.

6.- Isotopic traceability in current and fossil food chains.

7.- Development of new methodologies for the analysis of stable isotopes.

Active projects

Sustainability for Mediterranean Hotspots in Andalusia integrating LifeWatch ERIC (SUMHAL). The isotopic footprints of Andalucian ecosystems: Tools for assessing biodiversity changes, ecosystem management and sustainable development. IP: Antonio Delgado Huertas. Duración: 01/09/2019-30/06/2023

Trazabilidad isotópica de gases disueltos y nitratos en el Mar Menor: mecanismos de anoxia y desnitrificación (TI-MM). IP: Antonio Delgado Huertas. Duración: 01/12/2022-30/11/2024.

Impacto biogeoquímico de procesos a meso- y sub-mesoescala a lo largo del ciclo de vida de remolinos ciclónicos y anticiclónicos: flujos y transformaciones de materia orgánica. IPs: Xose Anton Alvarez Salgado / Antonio Delgado Huertas, Duración: 01/06/2020-31/05/2023

Geologic Evolution of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba. IPs: Abdulkader M. Afifi / Antonio Delgado Huertas. Duración: 01/07/2020-30/06/2023


Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory

The laboratory is made up of 3 sample preparation rooms and a mass spectrometry room that has 6 mass spectrometers (IRMS),  4 laser systems and different peripherals that allow us to perform isotopic analyses (O, C, N, H, S, Ar) in minerals, water, organic matter and gases. Our laboratory is part of the CSIC service network. For more information on types of analysis and prices:



PhD Thesis

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