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Periodic Table--Xenon

Xenon is a heavy rare gas with nine stable isotopes, 124Xe, 126Xe, 128Xe, 129Xe, 130Xe, 131Xe, 132Xe, 134Xe and 136Xe, five of which are radiogenic. 129Xe is produced by beta decay of 129I (half-life = 16 Myr); 131Xe, 132Xe, 134Xe and 136Xe are fission products of both 238U and the extinct nuclide 244Pu. Because Xe is a tracer for two extinct nuclides, Xe isotopic ratios in meteorites are a powerful tool for studying the condensation of the solar system (Reynolds, 1963). The 129I-129Xe decay scheme has been used as a geochronometer based on the time-dependent decrease of the ratio of the radioactive 129I to stable 127I in the solar nebula. The I-Xe method of dating gives the time elapsed between nucleosynthesis and the condensation of a solid object from the solar nebula. Xenon isotopes are also a powerful tool for understanding terrestrial differentiation. Excess 129Xe found in CO2 well gases from New Mexico (Butler et al., 1963) was believed to have been derived by decay of mantle-derived gases soon after the formation of the Earth. Additional evidence for xenon isotopic evolution of mantle reservoirs has been obtained from MORBs (Staudacher and Allegre, 1982) and diamonds (Ozima and Zashu, 1991).

Source of text: This review was assembled by Eric Caldwell, primarily from Dicken (1995) and Faure (1986).

Boulos, M.S. and Manuel, O.K. (1971). "The xenon record of extinct radioactivities in the Earth." Science, 174: 1334-1336.
Butler, W.A., Jeffery, P.M., Reynolds, J.H. and Wasserburg, G.J. (1963). "Isotopic variations in terrestrial xenon." J. Geophys. Res., 68: 3283-3291.
Dicken, A.P. (1995). Radiogenic Isotope Geology. Cambridge University Press, New York, 452 p.
Faure, G. (1986). Principles of Isotope Geology, Second Edition. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 589 p.
Ozima, M. and Zashu, S. (1991). "Noble gas state of the ancient mantle as deduced from noble gases in coated diamonds." Earth, Planet. Sci. Lett., 105: 13-27.
Phinney, D., Tennyson, J. and Frick, U. (1978). "Xenon in CO2 well gas revisited." J. Geophys. Res., 83: 2313-2319.
Reynolds, J.H. (1963). "Xenology." J. Geophys. Res., 68: 2939-2956.
Staudacher, T. and Allegre, C.J. (1982). "Terrestrial xenology." Earth, Planet. Sci. Lett., 60: 389-406.
Related Links
Periodic Table
Fundamentals of Stable Isotope Geochemistry
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