Xenon in Natural Gases
Analyses of noble gases from four natural gases reveal radiogenic He4 and Ar40, excess Ne21 and Ar38 from α-induced reactions and an excess of the β-unshielded xenon isotopes with an abundance pattern unlike that from the spontaneous fission of U238. The pattern of excess Xe129, Xe131, Xe132, Xe134 and Xe136 in these gas samples is such that a mixture of this xenon with the primordial xenon in meteorites could produce the abundance pattern of atmospheric xenon for all isotopes heavier than Xe128. It is suggested that this strange "fission-yield" pattern is the result of a mechanism suggested earlier by Cameron: The addition of β-shielded xenon isotopes to the atmosphere by the solar wind. By modifying Cameron's hypothesis so that solar-wind xenon contains excess Xe124 and Xe126 in addition to Xe128 and Xe130, the addition of this solar wind xenon to atmospheric and meteoritic xenon can account for the general isotopic anomaly pattern observed across meteoritic xenon, the very low fission yields of Xe131 and Xe132 reported in xenon-rich meteorites and the high fission yields of Xe131 and Xe132 which have been calculated for xenon in gas wells and in the earth's atmosphere.
G. A. Bennett and O. Manuel, "Xenon in Natural Gases," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 34, pp. 593-610, Elsevier Limited, May 1970.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0016-7037(70)90018-9
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