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NSF-funded isoscapes cyberinfrastructure project

IsoMAP is a dynamic, online workspace for spatial analysis, modeling and prediction of stable isotope ratio variation in the natural environment (isoscapes). The core of ISOMAP will be a suite of web-based GIS and software tools allowing users to easily explore, develop, and implement statistical and process-based models for isotope distributions.

  • Data identification and processing will be handled by ISOMAP software and will be transparent to the user.
  • Hierarchically structured toolkits will provide functionality for model assessment, prediction (map-making), and data analysis for a variety of model and substrate types.
  • Users will be able to conduct end-to-end data exploration and modeling within an online workspace, with automatic data and metadata archival and cross-toolkit integration.
  • Products will be accessible for download and can be published to a common workspace to enable access by other users.

Meteoric, surface, and biologically modified waters and organic compounds

A key source of variation in hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios is the fractionation that occurs as water moves through the global hydrologic cycle, changing phases, diffusing through concentration gradients and experiencing different temperatures (see

Plant water and organic material

Plants record transient changes in soil water, climate, and atmospheric vapor in the isotopic composition of leaf water and tissues. Plant organics archive past environments and are a source of isotopic variation for migrating animals. Leaf water sets the initial composition of sugars and is a large pool for atmospheric isotopic exchange.

Forensic sourcing

Stable isotopes of organic and inorganic materials can record geographic and environmental information, making the isotope ratios of a variety of materials rich sources of forensic information. Several groups are exploring various aspects of this (see for example, the FIRMS network website).