Elemental distributions in the universe and the solid earth
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Elemental Distributions in the Universe and the Solid Earth. GLY 4241 - Lecture 2 Fall, 2014. Elemental Abundance Expression. Number of atoms per million atoms Weight percent Volume percent Relative to abundance of silicon. Abundance versus Atomic Number. Light Element Abundance.

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Elemental distributions in the universe and the solid earth

Elemental Distributions in the Universe and the Solid Earth

GLY 4241 - Lecture 2

Fall, 2014


Elemental abundance expression

Elemental Abundance Expression

  • Number of atoms per million atoms

  • Weight percent

  • Volume percent

  • Relative to abundance of silicon


Abundance versus atomic number

Abundance versus Atomic Number


Light element abundance

Light Element Abundance


Oddo harkins rule

Oddo-Harkins Rule

  • For elements heavier than H, the Oddo-Harkins rule holds that elements with an even atomic number (such as carbon) are more common than elements with an odd atomic number (such as nitrogen)

  • The effect was first reported by Giuseppe Oddo in 1914 and William Draper Harkins in 1917

  • Elements with odd atomic numbers have one unpaired proton

  • During nucleosynthesis, these elements are more likely to capture another proton, thus increasing their atomic number

  • In elements with even atomic numbers, protons are paired, with each member of the pair offsetting the spin of the other, enhancing stability


Odd odd scarcity

Odd-Odd Scarcity

  • Li6 7.42 %Li7 92.58%

  • B10 19.80 %B11 80.20%

  • K39 93.20 %K40 0.012%K41 6.73%

  • Results from the Oddo-Harkins Rule


Cosmic abundances

Cosmic Abundances

Cosmic Abundances Normalized to Si = 106


Hydrogen helium dominence

Hydrogen-Helium Dominence


Solar system versus earth

Solar System versus Earth


Crustal abundances in the earth

Crustal Abundances in the Earth

Approximate percentage by weight


Continental versus total crust

Continental versus Total Crust

  • After Mason and Moore, 1982, p.44


Different types of data

Different Types of Data


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