Imperial College London

Alex Brett

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Research Postgraduate
 
 
 
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Contact

 

a.brett13 Website

 
 
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Location

 

2.58FRoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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5 results found

Brett EKA, Prytulak J, Rehkämper M, Hammond SJ, Chauvel C, Stracke A, Willbold Met al., 2021, Thallium elemental and isotopic systematics in ocean island lavas, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol: 301, Pages: 187-210, ISSN: 0016-7037

The Earth’s mantle exhibits marked chemical heterogeneity. We provide an examination of thallium systematics in ocean island basalts (OIB): new high-precision trace element analyses, including Tl, and Tl isotopic compositions for 48 OIB spanning the entire range of observed Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotope ratios. All investigated OIB are characterised by ubiquitous Tl depletion requiring OIB mantle sources to have Tl concentrations as low as 0.2 ng/g, which is an order of magnitude lower than estimates for the primitive mantle and similar to Tl concentrations inferred for the depleted mantle. The low Tl concentrations inferred for OIB mantle sources are interpreted to reflect near quantitative removal of Tl during subduction and inefficient Tl recycling into the deeper mantle. If true, the Tl isotopic composition of surface materials may not be readily translated to the mantle sources of OIB.The new OIB dataset shows a >10 ε-unit range in primary isotopic variation, from ε205Tl = −6.4 to +6.6. However, the majority of samples (32 of 48) are within uncertainty of mantle values (ε205Tl = −2 ± 1), and show no co-variation with radiogenic isotopic composition. Notably, OIB with only minor Tl depletion (11 samples) have Tl isotopic compositions outside the mantle range. The Tl concentration contrast between the mantle and inputs such as sediments and altered basalt is so great that minor additions (<1% by mass) of high-Tl material will dominate the isotopic budget of a lava, with decoupling of Tl and radiogenic isotopic compositions as an expected result. Thallium isotopic compositions of OIB are therefore difficult to link directly to radiogenic isotope variations and the mantle components they may reflect. Indeed, if isotopically distinct Tl from altered oceanic crust and/or sediments were efficiently recycled into the mantle and sampled via OIB, more variation in the Tl isotopic composition of OIB would be expected than is ob

Journal article

Brett A, Prytulak J, Hammond SJ, Rehkamper Met al., 2018, Thallium mass fraction and stable isotope ratios of sixteen geological reference materials, Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, Vol: 42, Pages: 339-360, ISSN: 1639-4488

Thallium stable isotope ratio and mass fraction measurements were performed on sixteen geological reference materials spanning three orders of magnitude in thallium mass fraction, including both whole-rock and partially-separated mineral powders. For stable isotope ratio measurements, a minimum of three independent digestions of each reference material were obtained. High-precision trace element measurements (including Tl) were also performed for the majority of these RMs. The range of Tl mass fractions represented is 10 ng g-1 to 16 μg g-1, and Tl stable isotope ratios (reported for historical reasons as ε205Tl relative to NIST SRM 997) span the range -4 to +2. With the exception – attributed to between-bottle heterogeneity – of G-2, the majority of data are in good agreement with published or certified values, where available. The precision of mean of independent measurement results between independent dissolutions suggests that, for the majority of materials analysed, a minimum digested mass of 100 mg is recommended tomitigate the impact of small-scale powder heterogeneity. Of the sixteen materials analysed, we therefore recommend for use as Tl reference materials the USGS materials BCR-2, COQ-1, GSP-2, and STM-1; CRPG materials AL-I, AN-G, FK-N, ISH-G, MDO-G, Mica-Fe, Mica-Mg, and UB-N; NIST SRM 607; and OREAS14P.

Journal article

Newcombe ME, Brett A, Beckett JR, Baker MB, Newman S, Guan Y, Eiler JM, Stolper EMet al., 2017, Solubility of water in lunar basalt at low pH(2)O, GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, Vol: 200, Pages: 330-352, ISSN: 0016-7037

Journal article

Prytulak J, Brett A, Webb M, Plank T, Rehkamper M, Savage PS, Woodhead Jet al., 2016, Thallium elemental behavior and stable isotope fractionation during magmatic processes, Chemical Geology, Vol: 448, Pages: 71-83, ISSN: 1872-6836

Stable thallium (Tl) isotopes are an extremely sensitive tracer for the addition of small amounts of sediments or materials altered at low temperatures to the source(s) of mantle-derived melts. The ability of Tl to trace such materials is due to the largeconcentration contrast between the mantle (Tl < 2ng/g) and possible exotic inputs (Tl$+" ~100ng/g to >g/g), which also often display fractionated Tl isotope compositions.However, the magnitude of Tl isotope fractionation induced by igneous processesalone has not been systematically assessed. Here, two suites of co-genetic magmas, spanning a large range of differentiation, from Hekla, Iceland, and Anatahan, in the Mariana arc, are used to assess the behavior of thallium and its stable isotope variations during magmatic processes. Thallium behaves as a near-perfectly incompatible lithophile element throughout magmatic evolution, mirroring elements such as Rb, Cs, and K. Lavas from Hekla have restricted Cs/Tl ratios and stable Tl isotope compositions, which overlap with mantle estimates. Lavas from subduction-related Anatahan volcano also have a restricted range in Tl isotope composition, which overlaps with Hekla and MORB, demonstrating that fractional crystallisation and partial melting does not fractionate stable Tl isotopes. Subduction environments display variable Cs/Tl, indicating that the subduction process commonly fractionates these two elements. The immunity of thallium stable isotopes to fractionation by magmatic processes coupled with its extreme sensitivity for tracing pelagic sediments, FeMn crusts and low temperature altered oceanic crust highlight its value in elucidating the nature of mantle sources of both oceanic basalts and arc lavas. Critically, meaningful interpretation of thallium isotope compositions need not be restricted to primitive lavas.

Journal article

Kersten M, Xiao T, Kreissig K, Brett A, Coles BJ, Rehkaemper Met al., 2014, Tracing Anthropogenic Thallium in Soil Using Stable Isotope Compositions, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, Vol: 48, Pages: 9030-9036, ISSN: 0013-936X

Journal article

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