“Environmental Isotope Geochemistry”: Past, Present and Future

  • Mark BaskaranEmail author
Part of the Advances in Isotope Geochemistry book series (ADISOTOPE)


A large number of radioactive and stable isotopes of the first 95 elements in the periodic table that occur in the environment have provided a tremendous wealth of information towards unraveling many secrets of our Earth and its environmental health. These isotopes, because of their suitable geochemical and nuclear properties, serve as tracers and chronometers to investigate a variety of topics that include chronology of rocks and minerals, reconstruction of sea-level changes, paleoclimates, and paleoenvironments, erosion and weathering rates of rocks and minerals, rock-water interactions, material transport within and between various reservoirs of earth, and magmatic processes. Isotopic data have also provided information on time scales of mixing processes in the oceans and atmosphere, as well as residence times of oceanic constituents and gases in the atmosphere.


Stable Isotope Platinum Group Element Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometer High Precision Measurement Cosmogenic Isotope 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I thank S. Krishnaswami, Jim O’Neil and Peter Swarzenski for their in-depth reviews which resulted in considerable improvement of this chapter. Some of their suggestions on the past and present status of the work are also included in this revised version.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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