Lithium isotope systematics in a forested granitic catchment (Strengbach, Vosges Mountains, France) - BRGM - Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières Access content directly
Journal Articles Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta Year : 2010

Lithium isotope systematics in a forested granitic catchment (Strengbach, Vosges Mountains, France)


Over the last decade it has become apparent that Li isotopes may be a good proxy to trace silicate weathering. However, the exact mechanisms which drive the behaviour of Li isotopes in surface environments are not totally understood and there is a need to better calibrate and characterize this proxy. In this study, we analysed the Li concentrations and isotopic compositions in the various surface reservoirs (soils, rocks, waters and plants) of a small forested granitic catchment located in the Vosges Mountains (Strengbach catchment, France, OHGE Li fluxes were calculated in both soil profiles and at the basin scale and it was found that even in this forested basin, atmospheric inputs and litter fall represented a minor flux compared to input derived from the weathering of rocks and soil minerals (which together represent a minimum of 70% of dissolved Li). Li isotope ratios in soil pore waters show large depth dependent variations. Average dissolved d7Li decreases from _1.1&to _14.4& between 0 and _30 cm, but is +30.7&at _60 cm. This range of Li isotopic compositions is very large and it encompasses almost the entire range of terrestrial Li isotope compositions that have been previously reported. We interpret these variations to result from both the dissolution and precipitation of secondary phases. Large isotopic variations were also measured in the springs and stream waters, with d7Li varying from +5.3& to +19.6&. d7Li increases from the top to the bottom of the basin and also covaries with discharge at the outlet. These variations are interpreted to reflect isotopic fractionations occurring during secondary phase precipitation along the water pathway through the rocks. We suggest that the dissolved d7Li increases with increasing residence time of waters through the rocks, and so with increasing time of interaction between waters and solids. A dissolution precipitation model was used to fit the dissolved Li isotopic compositions. It was found that the isotopic compositions of springs and stream waters are explicable by an isotopic fractionation of _5&to _14& (best fit _10.8&), in agreement with Li incorporation into clay. In soil solutions, it was found that isotopic fractionation during secondary precipitation is larger (at least _23&), suggesting a major role for different secondary phases, such as iron oxides that maybe incorporate Li with a higher isotope fractionation.

Dates and versions

hal-00557598 , version 1 (19-01-2011)



Emmanuel Lemarchand, François Chabaux, Nathalie Vigier, Romain Millot, M.C. Pierret. Lithium isotope systematics in a forested granitic catchment (Strengbach, Vosges Mountains, France). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2010, 74 (16), p. 4612-4628. ⟨10.1016/j.gca.2010.04.057⟩. ⟨hal-00557598⟩
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