• D Lal

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Biogeochemistry of the Arabian Sea: Present information and gaps

      D Lal

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    • Cosmic ray produced isotopes in terrestrial systems

      D Lal

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      Continuing improvements in the sensitivity of measurement of cosmic ray produced isotopes in environmental samples have progressively broadened the scope of their applications to characterise and quantify a wide variety of processes in earth and planetary sciences. In this article, I will concentrate on the new developments in the field of nuclear geophysics, based on isotopic changes produced by cosmic rays in the terrestrial systems. This field, which is best described as cosmic ray geophysics, caught roots with the discovery of cosmogenic14C on the Earth by Willard Libby in 1948, and grew rapidly at first, but slowed down during the ’60s and ’70s. In the ’80s, there was arenaissance in cosmic ray produced isotope studies, thanks mainly to the developments of the accelerator mass spectrometry technique capable of measuring minute amounts of radioactivity in terrestrial samples. This technological advance has considerably enhanced the applications of cosmic ray produced isotopes and today we find them being used to address diverse problems in earth and planetary sciences

      I discuss the present scope of the field of cosmic ray geophysics with an emphasis ongeomorphology. I must stress here that this is the decade in which this field, which has been studied passionately by geographers, geomorphologists and geochemists for more than five decades, has at its service nuclear methods to introduce numeric time controls in the range of centuries to millions of years.

    • Cosmogenic10Be: A critical view on its widespread dominion in geosciences

      D Lal

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      The radionuclide10Be (half-life = 1.5my), produced naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere by nuclear interactions of cosmic rays, was sought in ocean sediments in the late fifties, considering its potential usefulness as a radiotracer for dating sediments.10Be was discovered independently by two groups, one in India and the other in the USA, and used only for dating marine sediments and manganese nodules until the seventies. Subsequently, as a result of a technical advance resulting in the improvement in the sensitivity of measurement of10Be by about a factor of 106, there was a global rush to measure this nuclide in most materials participating in the physical, chemical and biological processes in the dynamic geosphere. This paper outlines the reasons for this “isotope rush”, and the lessons learned from these studies. I also present my personal views of the special attractive features of this nuclide on the one hand, and on the other, the pitfalls or the wrong message this nuclide could convey!

    • Detection of Mg spinel lithologies on central peak of crater Theophilus using Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) data from Chandrayaan-1

      D Lal P Chauhan R D Shah S Bhattacharya Ajai A S Kiran Kumar

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      Spectral reflectance data derived from Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) onboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 has revealed Fe bearing Mg-spinel-rich lithology on central peaks of the crater Theophilus. These newly identified Fe bearing Mg-spinel-rich rock types are defined by their strong 2-𝜇m absorption and lack of 1-𝜇m absorptions in spectral reflectance response. Such lithology has been reported previously along the inner ring of Moscoviense Basin on the lunar far side. The Modified Gaussian Modeling (MGM) analysis of the Fe bearing Mg-spinel reflectance spectra has been done and the results of the analysis clearly bring out a strong spectral absorption at 1872 nm with no significant absortion around 1000 nm. The presence of spinel group of minerals in the Theophilus central peak and the fact that central peaks mostly represent uplifted mass of deep crustal material confirm that central peaks can be used as a window to study the deep crustal and/or upper mantle composition and may lead to a fresh perspective about the crustal composition of Moon.

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