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Publication Detail
Primitive noble gases sampled from ocean island basalts cannot be from the Earth’s core
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Li Y, Vočadlo L, Ballentine C, Brodholt JP
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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  • Journal:
    Nature Communications
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    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Noble gas isotopes in plumes require a source of primitive volatiles largely isolated in the Earth for 4.5 Gyrs. Among the proposed reservoirs, the core is gaining interest in the absence of robust geochemical and geophysical evidence for a mantle source. This is supported by partitioning data showing that sufficient He and Ne could have been incorporated into the core to source plumes today. Here we perform ab initio calculations on the partitioning of He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe between liquid iron and silicate melt under core forming conditions. For He our results are consistent with previous studies allowing for substantial amounts of He in the core. In contrast, the partition coefficient for Ne is three orders of magnitude lower than He. This very low partition coefficient would result in a 3He/22Ne ratio of ~103 in the core, far higher than observed in ocean island basalts (OIBs). We conclude that the core is not the source of noble gases in OIBs.
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