Barium isotope fractionation during the experimental transformation of aragonite to witherite and of gypsum to barite, and the effect of ion (de)solvation.

Author(s) Böttcher, M.E.; Neubert, N.; von Allmen, K.; Samankassou, E.; Nägler, T.F.
Journal Isotopes Environ Health Stud
Date Published 2018 Feb 05

In this study, we present the experimental results for stable barium (Ba) isotope fractionation (137Ba/134Ba) during the transformation of aragonite (CaCO3) and gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) in Ba-bearing aqueous solution to witherite (BaCO3) and barite (BaSO4), respectively. The process was studied at three temperatures between 4 and 60 °C. In all cases, the transformation leads to a relative enrichment of the lighter 134Ba isotope in the solid compared to the aqueous solution, with 137/134Ba enrichment factors between -0.11 and -0.17 ‰ for BaCO3, and -0.21 and -0.26 ‰ for BaSO4. The corresponding mass-dependent 138/134Ba enrichment factors are -0.15 to -0.23 ‰ for BaCO3, and -0.28 to -0.35 ‰ for BaSO4. The magnitude of isotope fractionation is within the range of recent reports for witherite and barite formation, as well as trace Ba incorporation into orthorhombic aragonite, and no substantial impact of temperature can be found between 4 and 80 °C. In previous studies, ion (de)solvation has been suggested to impact both the crystallization process of Ba-bearing solids and associated Ba isotope fractionation. Precipitation experiments of BaSO4 and BaCO3 using an methanol-containing aqueous solution indicate only a minor effect of ion and crystal surface (de)solvation on the overall Ba isotope fractionation process.

DOI 10.1080/10256016.2018.1430692
ISSN 1477-2639
Citation Isotopes Environ Health Stud. 2018:112.

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