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7.10 - Metal Stable Isotopes in Weathering and Hydrology

Elsevier Ltd
DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-08-095975-7.00511-8
  • Compositional Variability
  • Hydrology
  • Isotope Fractionation
  • Metal Stable Isotopes
  • Weathering
  • Earth Science
  • Geography


Abstract This chapter highlights some of the major developments in the understanding of the causes of metal stable isotope compositional variability in and isotope fractionation between natural materials and provides numerous examples of how that understanding is providing new insights into weathering and hydrology. At this stage, our knowledge of causes of stable isotope compositional variability among natural materials is greatest for the metals lithium, magnesium, calcium, and iron, the isotopes of which have already provided important information on weathering and hydrological processes. Stable isotope compositional variability for other metals such as strontium, copper, zinc, chromium, barium, molybdenum, mercury, cadmium, and nickel has been demonstrated but is only beginning to be applied to questions related to weathering and hydrology, and several research groups are currently exploring the potential. And then there are other metals such as titanium, vanadium, rhenium, and tungsten that have yet to be explored for variability of stable isotope composition in natural materials, but which may hold untold surprises in their utility. This impressive list of metals having either demonstrated or potential stable isotope signals that could be used to address important unsolved questions related to weathering and hydrology, constitutes a powerful toolbox that will be increasingly utilized in the coming decades.

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