Experimental determination of the xenon isotopic fractionation during adsorption
Article first published online: 27 AUG 2013
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 40, Issue 16, pages 4165–4170, 28 August 2013
How to Cite
2013), Experimental determination of the xenon isotopic fractionation during adsorption, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 4165–4170, doi:10.1002/grl.50845., and (
- Issue published online: 16 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 27 AUG 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 13 AUG 2013 11:26PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 6 JUL 2013
- isotopic fractionation;
- Rayleigh distillation;
 Adsorption of noble gases into solids is often posited to account for their abundance patterns in meteorites, terrestrial rocks, and planetary atmospheres. Since these elements present isotope variations among geochemical reservoirs, we have experimentally tested the possibility that adsorption of neutral noble gases could result in isotopic fractionation. Our experiment consists of a cycle of adsorption/desorption processes in which xenon is progressively lost from a reservoir by equilibrium adsorption on kerogen and on montmorillonite. Any isotopic fractionation would then be amplified by the Rayleigh-like distillation experiment. The fractionation factors α are extrapolated to be −0.18‰ ± 0.08‰ per u and −0.22‰ ± 0.07‰ per u (both at the 2σ level) for kerogen and montmorillonite, respectively. Thus, adsorption of neutral noble gases alone cannot account for the specific isotopic composition of noble gases trapped in meteorites, nor for the isotopic composition of xenon in the terrestrial and martian atmospheres.