Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 6, 117–122, 2014
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 6, 117–122, 2014

  25 Mar 2014

25 Mar 2014

The IRHUM (Isotopic Reconstruction of Human Migration) database – bioavailable strontium isotope ratios for geochemical fingerprinting in France

M. Willmes1, L. McMorrow1, L. Kinsley1, R. Armstrong1, M. Aubert*,1, S. Eggins1, C. Falguères2, B. Maureille3, I. Moffat4,1, and R. Grün1 M. Willmes et al.
  • 1The Australian National University, Research School of Earth Sciences, Canberra 0200, ACT, Australia
  • 2Département de Préhistoire, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, UMR7194 du CNRS, Paris, France
  • 3University of Bordeaux, CNRS, MCC, PACEA UMR5199, 33400, Talence, France
  • 4Flinders University, Department of Archaeology, Adelaide, 5000, SA, Australia
  • *now at: University of Wollongong, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Centre for Archaeological Science, Wollongong 2522, NSW, Australia

Abstract. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr / 86Sr) are a key geochemical tracer used in a wide range of fields including archaeology, ecology, food and forensic sciences. These applications are based on the principle that the Sr isotopic ratios of natural materials reflect the sources of strontium available during their formation. A major constraint for current studies is the lack of robust reference maps to evaluate the source of strontium isotope ratios measured in the samples. Here we provide a new data set of bioavailable Sr isotope ratios for the major geologic units of France, based on plant and soil samples (Pangaea data repository doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.819142). The IRHUM (Isotopic Reconstruction of Human Migration) database is a web platform to access, explore and map our data set. The database provides the spatial context and metadata for each sample, allowing the user to evaluate the suitability of the sample for their specific study. In addition, it allows users to upload and share their own data sets and data products, which will enhance collaboration across the different research fields. This article describes the sampling and analytical methods used to generate the data set and how to use and access the data set through the IRHUM database. Any interpretation of the isotope data set is outside the scope of this publication.