Xenon Decay Products Of Extinct Radionuclides In The Navajo, New Mexico Well Gas


The isotopic composition of xenon has been determined in samples of the Navajo C-l well gas, Wildcat Field, New Mexico. Our results indicate that xenon in the Navajo well gas contains radiogenic 129Xe and fissiogenic 131-136Xe. The Fission yields across heavy xenon isotopes,131-136Xe, match those reported for the spontaneous fission of 23 8U; the spontaneous Fission of extinct 244Pu accounts for no more than 6% of the excess l36Xe in this well gas. Based on the high value of the ratio of radiogenic 129Xe to CO2in this gas, we suggest that most this decay product of extinct 1291 may have been introduced in a carrier gas of primordial, abiogenic hydrocarbons. It is shown that values of the ratio of radiogenic 129Xe to 244Pu-derived 136Xe in this well gas, in air, and in other terrestrial samples are consistent with a very simple and straight-forward chronology of events in the early solar system that is also compatible with the I-Xe and Pu-Xe record of meteorites. © 1987, GEOCHEMICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN. All rights reserved.



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Publication Date

01 Jan 1987