Potassium, Rubidium, Strontium, Thorium, Uranium, and the Ratio of Strontium-87 to Strontium-86 in Oceanic Tholeiitic Basalt

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  12 Nov 1965:
Vol. 150, Issue 3698, pp. 886-888
DOI: 10.1126/science.150.3698.886


The average concentrations of potassium, rubidium, strontium, thorium, and uranium in oceanic tholeiitic basalt are (in parts per million) K, 1400; Rb, 1.2; Sr, 120; Th, 0.2; and U, 0.1. The ratio Sr87 to Sr86 is about 0.702, that of K to U is 1.4 x 104, and of Th to U is 1.8. These amounts of K, Th, U, and radiogenic Sr87 are less than in other common igneous rocks. The ratios of Th to U and Sr87 to Sr86 suggest that the source region of the oceanic tholeiites was differentiated from the original mantle material some time in the geologic past.