Stable Isotope Tools in Earth System Science

Third-cycle level | 3.0 credits | Course code: NGEO303

Course description

The main goal of the course is to offer a broad introduction to the use of stable isotopes (SI) in Earth Systems Sciences (Biosphere, Geosphere, Hydrosphere and Atmosphere). Lectures will give an overview of the major SI of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen used in studies of the Earth System. Topics addressed include (a) fractionation and mixing processes that affect isotope distribution, (b) the use of SI as tracers by using either their natural abundance distribution or labelling experiments, (c) modelling of processes at meso- and global scale. Questions related to instrumentation, technology and measurement (IAEA standards) will also be highlighted.

Complementary practical works and computing exercises will be conducted in small groups. For the laboratory exercises, we will utilize the Stable Isotope Facility at Earth Science laboratories (ISOGOT infrastructure), including mass spectrometry and laser technologies

Requirements and Selection

Entry requirements

Admitted to third cycle education.


Accepted to third-cycle education.

Course syllabus


Reading and reference list

Reading and reference list for the course


Department of Earth Sciences

CONTACTTobias Rütting