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Lithium Isotopes

A Tracer of Past and Present Silicate Weathering

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 August 2021

Philip A. E. Pogge von Strandmann
University College London
Mathieu Dellinger
Durham University
A. Joshua West
University of Southern California


Lithium isotopes are a relatively novel tracer of present and past silicate weathering processes. Given that silicate weathering is the primary long-term method by which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere, Li isotope research is going through an exciting phase. We show the weathering processes that fractionate dissolved and sedimentary Li isotope ratios, focusing on weathering intensity and clay formation. We then discuss the carbonate and silicate archive potential of past seawater δ7Li. These archives have been used to examine Li isotope changes across both short and long timescales. The former can demonstrate the rates at which the climate is stabilised from perturbations via weathering, a fundamental piece of the puzzle of the long-term carbon cycle.
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Online ISBN: 9781108990752
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication: 26 August 2021
© Philip A. E. Pogge von Strandmann, Mathieu Dellinger and A. Joshua West 2021

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