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Cenozoic variations in the flux of interplanetary dust recorded by ^3He in a deep-sea sediment

Farley, K. A. (1995) Cenozoic variations in the flux of interplanetary dust recorded by ^3He in a deep-sea sediment. Nature, 376 (6536). pp. 153-156. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/376153a0.

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Helium-3 concentrations and ^3He/^4He ratios in modern pelagic sediments are known to be far in excess of terrestrial values as a result of micrometeorite fallout. Here I report that extraterrestrial helium is easily detected in a pelagic clay core dating back more than 70 Myr. The remarkable preservation of the extraterrestrial signature arises from high retention of ^3He within interplanetary dust particles, coupled with loss of radiogenic ^4He from terrestrial mineral grains. The core provides a continuous record of the fallout of extraterrestrial helium for the Cenozoic era. This record suggests that there have been significant variations in the influx of interplanetary dust through time, probably related to asteroidal breakup events or the passage of comets through the inner Solar System. The results also show ^3He to be a far more sensitive tracer of the interplanetary dust flux than is iridium.

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Farley, K. A.0000-0002-7846-7546
Additional Information:© 1995 Nature Publishing Group. Received 15 March; accepted 9 June 1995. I thank F. Kyte, K. Turekian and B. J. Pegram for helpful comments and for supplying samples, and G. J. Flynn for a helpful review. This work was supported by the Ocean Sciences Division of the US National Science Foundation.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
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NSF Ocean Sciences DivisionUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6536
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130419-081334817
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Official Citation:Cenozoic variations in the flux of interplanetary dust recorded by3He in a deep-sea sediment 153 K. A. Farley doi:10.1038/376153a0
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38030
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:19 Apr 2013 20:46
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:33

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