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Modelling of the effect of chromatographic resolution on the determination of the UK37I index

Lookup NU author(s): Pau Comes, Dr Antoni Rosell-Mele


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The UK37I index is based on the measurement of the relative abundance of C37 alkenones in marine samples and is used to estimate absolute palaeo-sea surface temperatures. The reliability of the data (and the value of their interpretation) depends on the minimization of those factors that give rise to errors in the measurement of UK37I. The index is calculated using gas chromatography, and here, the effect of chromatographic resolution on UK37I is evaluated through the modelling of chromatograms with Gaussian or exponentially modified Gaussian peaks. It is shown that chromatographic resolution of the alkenones is indeed linked to the accuracy of UK37I, although the magnitude of the error depends on the actual values of UK37I, the degree of peak tailing, and the relative abundance of coelutants. However, it is not necessary to achieve baseline separation between the alkenones to obtain UK37I values with errors that are climatically nonsignificant. Further work should demonstrate if these results can be reproduced experimentally, but in principle, the use of partially unresolved chromatograms with or without peak tailing does not appear to be a major source of error during UK37I analysis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Comes P, Rosell-Mele A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Chromatographic Science

Year: 1999

Volume: 37

Issue: 7

Pages: 245-250

Print publication date: 01/07/1999

ISSN (print): 0021-9665

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/chromsci/37.7.245


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