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Isotopes du tungstène - Nouvelles applications à l’étude des processus terrestres et astéroïdaux

Abstract : The 182Hf-182W chronometer and, more generally, tungsten (W) isotopes are commonly used to address several scientific problems in cosmochemistry and, more recently, in geochemistry. They are, for instance, very useful tools for dating the first stages of our solar system history (radiochronometer), but also for studying the effects of galactic cosmic rays interacting with planetary or asteroidal surfaces (cosmogenic effects), or for glancing at the stellar environment of our nascent solar system (nucleosynthetic anomalies). On Earth, they have recently been used to test the Late Veneer hypothesis and to look for geochemical signatures dating back from before this late event. All these scientific problems use isotope signatures that are called “mass-independent” because they affect more some isotopes than others, independently of their masses. In this work, I propose new applications for the W isotopes system. I present an innovative method for measuring the “mass-dependent” fractionation of W stable isotopes, i.e. the fractionation induced by geological processes on asteroids, planetesimals, planets and their natural satellites, or in terrestrial environments: melting, crystallization, metamorphism, alteration, hydrothermal fluid circulations, contamination, mixing and much more. This new approach has been applied to a series of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples (ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites, eucrites, iron meteorites). The measured isotope compositions range from -0,03 to +0,57 ‰ par atomic mass unit. It seems that alteration processes disturb the 182Hf-182W clock. As a consequence, 182Hf-182W ages measured on extensively altered samples could be apparent ages and have no chronological meaning. In order to better understand the effects of aqueous alteration on the H-W system, we set up a series of experiments in which we simulated the lixiviation of terrestrial samples (lherzolite and dunite) under controlled atmosphere, in both closed and semi-opened systems. These experiments were compared with PHREEQC geochemical modeling results. Experiments show a significant difference between the behaviors of Hf and W in solution, W being much more mobile than Hf. This is in line with our observations on altered carbonaceous chondrites: alteration may fractionate the Hf/W ratio, thus disturbing the Hf-W system and its associated radiochronometer. Having shown the effects of aqueous alteration on the Hf-W system, we chose to study an unaltered CR chondrite: these samples are of high interest for our knowledge of the early solar system, as they are considered as very pristine while presenting some clues of the earliest steps of differentiation. We studied the Tafassasset meteorite, generally considered as an anomalous and unaltered CR chondrite. We combined various analyses on this sample: 182Hf-182W chronology, micro-tomography, mineralogy and modeling of the thermal evolution of its parent body. This meteorite happened to be a partially differentiated primitive achondrite that accreted early in our solar system history, ca. one million years after CAIs.
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Contributor : Williams Exbrayat <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 3:48:03 PM
Last modification on : Monday, April 5, 2021 - 2:26:14 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, November 12, 2016 - 11:13:16 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-01275984, version 1



Thomas Breton. Isotopes du tungstène - Nouvelles applications à l’étude des processus terrestres et astéroïdaux. Géologie appliquée. Université Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier, 2014. Français. ⟨tel-01275984⟩



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