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Isotope Geochemistry

ISBN: 978-0-470-65670-9
496 pages
January 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
Isotope Geochemistry (0470656700) cover image

Description

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry. Beginning with a brief overview of nuclear physics and nuclear origins, it then reviews radioactive decay schemes and their use in geochronology. A following chapter covers the closely related techniques such as fission-track and carbon-14 dating. Subsequent chapters cover nucleosynthetic anomalies in meteorites and early solar system chronology and the use of radiogenic isotopes in understanding the evolution of the Earth’s mantle, crust, and oceans. Attention then turns to stable isotopes and after reviewing the basic principles involved, the book explores their use in topics as diverse as mantle evolution, archeology and paleontology, ore formation, and, particularly, paleoclimatology. A following chapter explores recent developments including unconventional stable isotopes, mass-independent fractionation, and isotopic ‘clumping’. The final chapter reviews the isotopic variation in the noble gases, which result from both radioactive decay and chemical fractionations.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

About the companion website xiii

Chapter 1: Atoms and nuclei: their physics and origins 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Physics of the Nucleus 2

1.3 Radioactive Decay 12

1.4 Nucleosynthesis 16

Chapter 2: Decay systems and geochronology I 32

2.1 Basics of Radioactive Isotope Geochemistry 32

2.2 Geochronology 36

2.3 The K-Ar-Ca System 39

2.4 The Rb-Sr System 47

2.5 The Sm-Nd System 50

2.6 The Lu-Hf System 56

2.7 The Re-Os System 61

Chapter 3: Decay systems and geochronology II: U and Th 72

3.1 Introduction 72

3.2 Pb-Pb Ages and Isochrons 7

3.3 Zircon Dating 77

3.4 U-decay Series Dating 83

Chapter 4: Geochronology III: other dating methods 101

4.1 Cosmogenic Nuclides 101

4.2 Fission Tracks 114

Chapter 5: Isotope cosmochemistry 125

5.1 Introduction 125

5.2 Cosmochronology 126

5.3 Stardust and Isotopic Anomalies in Meteorites 146

5.4 Oxygen Isotope Variations and Nebular Processes 151

5.5 Exposure Ages of Meteorites 154

Chapter 6: Radiogenic isotope geochemistry of the mantle 161

6.1 Introduction 161

6.2 Isotope Geochemistry of the Earth’s Mantle 163

6.3 Balancing Depleted Mantle and Crust 172

6.4 Mantle Plume Reservoirs 179

6.5 Geographic Variations in Mantle Isotopic Composition 187

6.6 The Subcontinental Lithosphere 189

6.7 U-Series Isotopes and Melt Generation 193

Chapter 7: Radiogenic isotope geochemistry of the continental crust and the oceans 205

7.1 Introduction 205

7.2 Growth of the Continental Crust Through Time 205

7.3 Isotopic Composition of the Continental Crust 217

7.4 Other Approaches to Crustal Composition and Evolution 224

7.5 Subduction Zones 226

7.6 Radiogenic Isotopes in Oceanography 231

Chapter 8: Stable isotope geochemistry I: Theory 246

8.1 Introduction 246

8.2 Notation and Definitions 246

8.3 Theory of Mass Dependent Isotopic Fractionations 247

8.4 Mass Independent Fractionation 260

8.5 Hydrogen and Oxygen Isotope Ratios in the Hydrologic System 262

8.6 Isotope Fractionation in the Biosphere 265

Chapter 9: Stable isotope geochemistry II: High temperature applications 277

9.1 Introduction 277

9.2 Equilibrium Fractionations Among Minerals 277

9.3 Stable Isotope Composition of the Mantle 282

9.4 Oxygen Isotopes in Magmatic Processes 288

9.5 Oxygen Isotopes in Hydrothermal Systems 298

9.6 Sulfur Isotopes and Ores 305

Chapter 10: Stable isotope geochemistry III: Low temperature applications 316

10.1 Stable Isotopes in Paleontology, Archeology, and the Environment 316

10.2 Stable Isotopes in Paleoclimatology 326

10.3 The Carbon Cycle, Isotopes, and Climate 342

Chapter 11: Unconventional isotopes and approaches 364

11.1 Introduction 364

11.2 Applications of Isotopic Clumping 365

11.3 Mass Independent Isotope Fractionations 368

11.4 Isotopes of Iron and Molybdenum 370

11.5 Isotopes of Copper and Zinc 377

11.6 Isotopes of Boron and Lithium 383

11.7 Isotopes of Magnesium and Calcium 392

11.8 Silicon Isotopes 400

11.9 Chlorine Isotopes 404

Chapter 12: Noble gas isotope geochemistry 418

12.1 Introduction 418

12.2 Helium 422

12.3 Neon 426

12.4 Argon 429

12.5 Krypton 431

12.6 Xenon 432

12.7 Implications of Noble Gas Isotope Ratios for the Origin and Evolution of the Earth 436

Appendix: Mass spectrometry 453

A.1 Sample Extraction and Preparation 453

A.2 The Mass Spectrometer 453

A.2.1 The ion source 454

A.2.2 The mass analyzer 455

A.2.3 The detector 457

A.3 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 458

A.4 Analytical Strategies 459

A.4.1 Correcting mass fractionation 459

A.4.2 Deconvolution of results 461

A.4.3 Isotope dilution analysis 461

Notes 462

References 463

Problems 463

Index 465

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Author Information

William White teaches geochemistry as a Professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University. He received a B.A. in geology from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. He is a Fellow of the Geochemical Society/European Association of Geochemistry and the AGU and has been named a highly cited author by ISI. He is the author of Geochemistry, also published by Wiley-Blackwell.
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