Most of the geological processes shaping the Earth lead to isotopic enrichments that are peculiar to them, and which in a way constitute their signature. When these enrichment mechanisms are well understood, the measurement of isotopic rock compositions can then be used to reconstruct past climates, understand the internal dynamics of the Earth or the formation of the Solar System. The theoretical prediction of these processes of enrichment is essential for their understanding, but comes up against both their quantum and dynamic nature. For solids and gases, a simplified approach is sufficient, but the case of liquids remains problematic. For the first time, a theoretical study shows that to understand and predict the behavior of isotopes in complex systems containing a liquid phase, a more precise approach is necessary and possible. This result, obtained by GET and CEMES researchers, has major implications for understanding the evolution of our planet, because isotopic processes are quantitative markers of a large number of processes (erosion, alteration, geosphere interactions -biosphere). This work was published in Accounts of Chemical Research, June 23, 2017.
Romain Dupuis, Magali Benoit, Mark E. Tuckerman and Merlin Méheut (2017), Importance of a fully anharmonic treatment of equilibrium isotope fractionation properties of dissolved ionic species as evidenced by Li+(aq), Accounts of Chemical Research, 23 juin 2017
Merlin MEHEUT, GET/OMP
merlin.meheut at get.omp.eu, 05 61 33 26 17
Magali BENOIT, CEMES (CNRS)
magali.benoit at cemes.fr, 05 62 25 79 70