The effects of reactive transport on sulfur isotopic compositions in natural environments

Alexandra V. Turchyn, Jennifer L. Druhan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Microbial sulfate reduction is one of the oldest known metabolisms to have evolved on Earth and is associated with one of the largest stable isotope fractionations recorded in both marine and terrestrial environments. Through decades of study, we are reaching a nuanced description of mass-dependent partitioning across this multi-step, eight electron transfer process, yet many complexities impede translation to natural environments. Here, we review the factors that contribute to sulfur isotope fractionation, including variations in the sulfur isotope fractionation factor associated with microbial metabolism, and demonstrate several examples of systems in which the apparent relationship between reaction rate and fractionation factor is obscured or easily misinterpreted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIsotopic Constraints on Earth System Processes
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781119595007
ISBN (Print)9781119594963
StatePublished - Apr 22 2022


  • Marine and terrestrial environments
  • Sulfur isotope fractionation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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