The applications of the187Re-187Os isotope pair as a petrogenetic and geologic tracer are increasing in recent years due to several advances in the chemical extraction and purification of Re and Os, occurring at ppb levels in environmental samples, and in the precise determination of the Os isotope composition. We have established in our laboratory; based on available methods, chemical procedures and Negative Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometric techniques for the measurement of Re-Os concentrations in environmental samples and the Os isotope composition in them. Using these techniques, we are able to determine187Os/186Os ratios with a precision of ∼ 1% (±2σμ; twice the standard error of the mean) in several tens of picogram of Os. Preliminary analysis of black shales from the Lower Tal section of the Maldeota phosphorite mine yields a mean187Re-187Os model age of 597 ± 30 Ma. The187Os/186Os and Os concentration in black shales of the Lesser Himalaya range from 8 to 96 and 0.02 to 13 ng g-1 respectively. The mean187Os/186Os in these samples is ∼ 25, significantly higher than the crustal value of ∼ 10.5, suggesting that these black shales could be an important source of radiogenic Os to the rivers draining the Himalaya and to the steady increase in187Os/186Os of the oceans through the Cenozoic.
Volume 128 | Issue 8
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