Triple Oxygen Isotopes: Fundamental Relationships and Applications

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Copyright © 2016 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. The element oxygen has three stable isotopes: 16O, 17O, and 18O. For a defined process, a change in 18O16O scales with the corresponding change in 17O16O, or the fractionation factors 18α and 17α have a relationship of θ = ln17αln18α, in which the triple oxygen isotope exponent θ is relatively fixed but does vary with reaction path, temperature, and species involved. When the small variation is of interest, the distinction of three concepts-θ, S (a slope through data points in δ17O-δ18O space), and C (an arbitrary referencing number for the degree of 17O deviation)-becomes important. Triple oxygen isotope variations can be measured by modern instruments and thus offer an additional line of information on the underlying reaction processes and conditions. Analytical methods and Earth science applications have recently been developed for air oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, silicates, oxides, sulfates, carbonates, and phosphates.

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Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences

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