Work on foraminifera reference material underway
Monday, February 10, 2020

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Together with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) we are developing nano-particulate pressed powder pellets made purely out of foraminifera to be used as a reference material for in situ microanalytical techniques.

The starting material is an aliquot, provided by NIOZ, of NFHS-1 (NIOZ Foraminifera House Standard). It stems from a calcareous ooze, collected using a gravity corer taking a piston core of ~6,5 m at a water depth 2878 m, at the Walvis Ridge (Fig.2). Using our milling protocol adapted to the rheological properties of the CaCO3-slurry we have been able to produce the first prototypes of NFHS-2-NP (... Nano-Pellet), which are currently on their way to being tested using µXRF, LA-ICP-MS, LA-ICP-MC-MS and nano-SIMS techniques.

The powder will be characterized using ICP-MS, ICP-OES, GC-MS, TIMS, ICP-MC-MS, ID-MS and XRF.

Fig.2: Goolge Earth image of the location (Walvis Ridge) where the core was taken. Water depth 2878 m.
Fig.2: Goolge Earth image of the location (Walvis Ridge) where the core was taken. Water depth 2878 m.

An image of the entire core is shown in (Fig.3). NFHS-2-NP was extracted from section no. 1. The bright white colour indicates pure CaCO3 (coccolithophores and foraminifera). The coccolithophores were removed during the initial sieving at the NIOZ-Laboratory. The sieved fraction was further checked for coccoliths using an SEM.

If you´re interested in purchasing one of the future NFHS-2-NP, please get in touch with us!

Fig.3: Core-photgraphs of core PE174-15PC taken by Dr. Geert-Jan Brummer, NIOZ.
Fig.3: Core-photgraphs of core PE174-15PC taken by Dr. Geert-Jan Brummer, NIOZ.

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