FormulaBe: Recent Applications in Earth Sciences [and Discussion]

L. Brown, P. Damon
1987 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences  
M agn etism C arn egie Institution of 5241 Broad Branch Road, N .W ., Washington, D.C. 20015, U.S.A. 10Be, a cosmogenic isotope produced by cosmic rays interacting w ith the E a rth 's atm osphere and surface, has chem ical and physical properties th a t m ake it useful as a tracer for some terrestrial processes and a geological clock for a few substances. T he rarity of the stable isotope, 9Be, allows 10Be to be detected in n a tu ra l m aterials at extrem ely low levels w ith backgrounds for
more » ... ocks, sedim ents etc. below 105 atom g_1 now attain ab le, a value to be com pared w ith an average an nual global deposition rate of 1.3 x 106 atom cm -2. T h e affinity of Be for the com ponents o f soil and sedim ent is sufficiently high th a t its contact w ith them effectively immobilizes it, thereby allow ing 10Be to function as a tracer of sedim ent transport. T he half-life of 1.5 M a is convenient for some geological studies. A pplication has been found in cosm ic-ray history, form ation o f m anganese nodules, pelagic sedim entation, island-arc volcanism, soil evolution, soil erosion and rock w eathering.
doi:10.1098/rsta.1987.0073 fatcat:gu6n25qpgzasfdrr6ikuorl5ee