Theoretical, experimental, and empirical methods for estimating isotope fractionations often complement one another in precision and ease of application. In metal isotope systems, a combined approach to calibrating stable isotope fractionation shows great promise, but it is sometimes necessary to resolve significant disagreements between theoretical models and empirical data. Here we introduce some of the principles and techniques used to estimate metal isotope signatures in low-temperature environments, and we highlight potential sources of uncertainty and error. We also discuss strategies for integrating theoretical calculations with data from laboratory experiments and natural sample suites.

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