AbstractThe impact of offshore constructions on the marine environment is unknown in many aspects. The application of Al- and Zn-based galvanic anodes as corrosion protection results in the continuous emission of inorganic matter (e.g. >80 kg Al-anode material per monopile foundation and year) into the marine environment. To identify tracers for emissions from offshore wind structures, anode materials (Al-based and Zn-based) were characterized for their elemental and isotopic composition. An acid digestion and analysis method for Al and Zn alloys was adapted and validated using the alloy CRMs ERM®-EB317 (AlZn6CuMgZr) and ERM®-EB602 (ZnAl4Cu1). Digests were measured for their elemental composition by ICP-MS/MS and for their Pb isotope ratios by MC ICP-MS. Ga and In were identified as potential tracers. Moreover, a combined tracer approach of the elements Al, Zn, Ga, Cd, In and Pb together with Pb isotope ratios is suggested for a reliable identification of offshore-wind-farm-induced emissions. In the Al anodes, the mass fractions were found to be >94.4% of Al, >26200 mg kg−1 of Zn, >78.5 mg kg−1 of Ga, >0.255 mg kg−1 of Cd, >143 mg kg−1 of In and >6.7 mg kg−1 of Pb. The Zn anodes showed mass fractions of >2160 mg kg−1 of Al, >94.5% of Zn, >1.31 mg kg−1 of Ga, >254 mg kg−1 of Cd, >0.019 mg kg−1 of In and >14.1 mg kg−1 of Pb. The n(208Pb)/n(206Pb) isotope ratios in Al anodes range from 2.0619 to 2.0723, whereas Zn anodes feature n(208Pb)/n(206Pb) isotope ratios ranging from 2.0927 to 2.1263.