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01-May-2020 09:27

Initial Nd ratios as well) the geological fingerprint of an object or skeleton can be measured, allowing migration patterns to be determined.

Strontium isotope stratigraphy relies on recognised variations in the Sr ratio of seawater over time.

Rb and Sr are relatively mobile alkaline elements and as such are relatively easily moved around by the hot, often carbonated hydrothermal fluids present during metamorphism or magmatism.

Conversely, these fluids may metasomatically alter a rock, introducing new Rb and Sr into the rock (generally during potassic alteration or calcic (albitisation) alteration.

The important concept in isotopic tracing is that Sr derived from any mineral through weathering reactions will have the same Sr as the mineral.

Although this is a potential source of error for terrestrial rocks, it is irrelevant for lunar rocks and meteorites, as there are no chemical weathering reactions in those environments.

This, thus, allows a different rate of radiogenic Sr to evolve in the separate rocks and their component minerals as time progresses.

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In the 1950s, when mass spectrometers following Nier’s design were constructed for the isotope analysis of solids, the Rb-Sr dating method became widely used, the concentrations of these elements being determined by isotope dilution and also as a result of separation by cation exchange chromatography.Hence, the Rb/Sr ratio in residual magma may increase over time, resulting in rocks with increasing Rb/Sr ratios with increasing differentiation. Typically, Rb/Sr increases in the order plagioclase, hornblende, K-feldspar, biotite, muscovite.