Silicon isotope variations in the Earth and meteorites

Zambardi, T.; Poitrasson, F.; Quitte, G. and Anand, M. (2009). Silicon isotope variations in the Earth and meteorites. In: Challenges to Our Volatile Planet : Goldschmidt 2009, 21-26 Jun 2009, Davos, Switzerland.



A fluorhydric acid-free sample preparation method derived from Georg et al. [1] has been used to measure the natural variations of silicon isotope compositions in terrestrial (including 12 geological standard materials) and meteoritic bulk-rock samples. All measurements were done using a Neptune MC-ICPMS in medium resolution mode (m/Δm = 7000, peak-edge definition). Magnesium was used as internal standard for mass-bias drift correction. The δ30Si values are expressed relative to the NBS-28 silica standard. IRMM-17 reference material yields a δ30Si of -1.4‰ ± 0.05‰ (2SD, n=11) in agreement with previous data [2-3]. Long-term reproducibilities were obtained for BHVO-2 (δ30Si = -0.27‰ ± 0.08‰ (2SD, n=30)) and a in-house Si standard (δ30Si = -0.01‰ ± 0.07‰ (2SD, n=20)) on a 7 months time scale. Total variation of δ30Si in natural samples ranges from - 0.5‰ to -0.1‰. Comparison with δ29Si values shows that this isotopic fractionation is mass-dependent. A 0.2‰ isotopic variation occurs among terrestrial samples suggesting an enrichment in the heavier silicon isotopes as a function of magma differentiation, as initially hinted by Douthitt [4]. Terrestrial samples mean value (δ30SiEarth= -0.23‰) is heavier by about 0.24‰ in δ30Si compared to chondrites. This may be explained by silicon isotope fractionation during planetary accretion and/or differentiation.

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