Rudnick, Roberta L. & Nakamura, Eizo (2004) Preface to “Lithium isotope geochemistry”, Chemical Geology, 212, 1-4, doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2004.08.001. < 20200420103254-223053 > pub
  • abstract:

    The use of light stable isotopes to elucidate Earth processes dates to the pioneering work of Harold Urey, who was awarded the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1934 for his discovery of deuterium and determination of its fractionation from hydrogen as a function of temperature. Perhaps less well known, Urey was also one of the first to delve into lithium isotope geochemistry. Taylor and Urey (1938) used ion exchange chromatography to separate 6Li from 7Li, demonstrating the extreme isotopic fractionation achievable on a resin bed. The very large mass difference (∼15%) between the two isotopes of lithium is responsible for both the potential utility and the difficulty in the application of lithium isotopes to geochemical problems. The utility stems from the very large mass fractionation that can occur due to natural processes; with the publication of this volume, up to 80‰ variation of 7Li/6Li has now been documented in terrestrial samples. The difficulty stems from the fact that, as Taylor and Urey demonstrated long ago, these fractionations are not limited to nature, and successful quantitative measurement of lithium isotopic compositions requires extraction of 100% of the lithium present in a sample during laboratory processing. In addition to the intrinsically large fractionations observed for 7Li/6Li, other properties, such as the single valence state, and the affinity of lithium for fluids, make it a potentially unique tracer for fluid–rock interaction in the Earth (see recent reviews by Elliott et al., 2004, Tomascak, 2004).

  • doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2004.08.001
  • modified at 2020-04-20
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  • name
  • Rudnick, Roberta L.
  • Nakamura, Eizo