The Earth's Surface and the Isotope Merry-Go-Round of the Chemical Elements





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Published on Nov 16, 2017

How is soil made from rock? Led by Geochemist Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, geoscientists from the European Innovative Training Network “IsoNose” use a new isotope method to detect how chemical elements are moved from rock into weathered rock, into rivers, and into plants. As they do so, they undergo isotope fractionation. We see how scientific knowledge is generated: taking soil and river water samples in the field, preparing samples in a very clean laboratory at GFZ Potsdam, using mass spectrometry to measure isotopes, lively scientific discussions.

What is this used for? To address questions of fundamental importance. Earth’s climate, metal ore resources, detecting pollution sources, food production.

A science movie designed and produced by:

Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, GFZ Potsdam
Wolfgang Dümcke, Filmbüro Potsdam

DOI: 10.2312/GFZ.3.3.2017.002


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