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Meteorite Kr in Earth’s mantle suggests a late accretionary source for the atmosphere

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date11/12/2009
JournalScience
Journal number5959
Volume326
Number of pages4
Pages1522-1525
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Noble gas isotopes are key tracers of both the origin of volatiles found within planets and the processes that control their eventual distribution between planetary interiors and atmospheres. Here, we report the discovery of primordial Kr in samples derived from Earth’s mantle and show it to be consistent with a meteorite or fractionated solar nebula source. The high-precision Kr and Xe isotope data together suggest that Earth’s interior acquired its volatiles from accretionary material similar to average carbonaceous chondrites and that the noble gases in Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are dominantly derived from later volatile capture rather than impact degassing or outgassing of the solid Earth during its main accretionary stage.