Applications of zinc stable isotope analysis in environmental and biological systems: a review

Zinc (Zn) is an essential trace element that is involved in both biotic and abiotic processes in Earth's surface environments. Over the last 20 years, advances in mass spectrometry instrumentation have enabled unprecedented high-precision Zn isotope abundance ratio determinations in natural and anthropogenic samples. Supported by a solid theoretical background inherited from the traditional non-metal stable isotopes (C, N, H, O, S), the understanding of the controlling factors of Zn isotope fractionation has rapidly evolved. In this article, we review the main applications and findings of Zn isotopes in a variety of scientific domains, including metal contamination, magmatic differentiation, plant uptake, weathering, global climate change, dietary and trophic chains, and biomedicine. The analytical aspects of Zn isotope determination in solid and water samples and the principles and mechanisms of Zn isotope fractionation are also reviewed. This work aims to provide a general yet in-depth panorama of Zn isotope chemistry and demonstrate the versatility and potential of this isotope system for studying the biological, geological, and chemical cycling of Zn. Supplementary material:


Zinc isotopes, isotope geochemistry, trace element mass spectrometry, environmental geochemistry

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Junqueira Tassiane P., Vriens Bas, Leybourne Matthew I., Harrison Anna L., Sullivan Kaj V., Jeong Hyeryeong, Ferreira Araujo Daniel (2024). Applications of zinc stable isotope analysis in environmental and biological systems: a review. Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis. INPRESS.,

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