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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Janet Montgomery

Montgomery, J., Evans, J.A. & Wildman, G. (2006). Sr-87/Sr-86 isotope composition of bottled British mineral waters for environmental and forensic purposes. Applied Geochemistry 21(10): 1626-1634.

Author(s) from Durham


Mineral waters in Britain show a wide range of 87Sr/86Sr isotope compositions ranging between 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7059 from Carboniferous volcanic rock sources in Dunbartonshire, Scotland to 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7207 in the Dalradian aquifer of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The 87Sr/86Sr composition of the waters shows a general correlation with the aquifer rocks, resulting in the waters from older rocks having a more radiogenic signature than those from younger rocks. This wide range of values means that the Sr isotope composition of mineral water has applications in a number of types of studies. In the modern commercial context, it provides a way of fingerprinting the various mineral waters and hence provides a method for recognising and reducing fraud. From an environmental perspective, it provides the first spatial distribution of bio-available 87Sr/86Sr in Britain that can be used in modern, historical and archaeological studies.