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Changes in (super 14) C activity over time during vacuum distillation of carbon from rock pore water.

G R Davidson, I C Yang


The radiocarbon activity of carbon collected by vacuum distillation from a single partially saturated tuff began to decline after approximately 60% of the water and carbon had been extracted. Disproportionate changes in (super 14) C activity and delta (super 13) C during distillation rule out simple isotopic fractionation as a causative explanation. Additional phenomena such as matrix diffusion and ion exclusion in micropores may play a role in altering the isotopic value of extracted carbon, but neither can fully account for the observed changes. The most plausible explanation is that distillation recovers carbon from an adsorbed phase that is depleted in (super 14) C relative to DIC in the bulk pore water.


water content;diffusion;adsorption;matrix;Miocene;Topopah Spring Member;tuff;vacuum distillation methods;Yucca Mountain;Nye County Nevada;Neogene;temperature;pore water;Tertiary;Nevada;isotope ratios;igneous rocks;pyroclastics;volcanic rocks;United States;Cenozoic;methods;C 14;carbon;isotopes;radioactive isotopes;C 13 C 12;stable isotopes;absolute age

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