Hydrogen isotope correction for laser instrument measurement bias at low water vapor concentration using conventional isotope analyses: application to measurements from Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii
The hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios of water vapor can be measured with commercially available laser spectroscopy analyzers in real time. Operation of the laser systems in relatively dry air is difficult because measurements are non-linear as a function of humidity at low water concentrations. Here we use field-based sampling coupled with traditional mass spectrometry techniques for assessing linearity and calibrating laser spectroscopy systems at low water vapor concentrations. Air samples are collected in an evacuated 2 L glass flask and the water is separated from the non-condensable gases cryogenically. Approximately 2 µL of water are reduced to H2 gas and measured on an isotope ratio mass spectrometer.