Author Topic: Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) - Idea  (Read 2398 times)

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Marco2001

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Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) - Idea
« on: February 05, 2011, 01:45:43 PM »

Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) - Measuring age of samples
(We measure samples composition in LIBS. I propose, that we also be able to check the samples age by isotopic decay of elements in an equipement called IRMS.
For what purpose?
By measuring the age of the sample, you gain information from which geological period it came: Phyllocian, Theiikian or Siderikan.
Each of those geological periodes had other minerals in the crust, and thus - by measuring the age of rocks, you can estimate where to look for certain minerals)



What is radiometric dating?
Quote
Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a technique used to date materials such as rocks, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.[1] It is the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of the Earth itself, and can be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials. Together with stratigraphic principles, radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geological time scale.[2] Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating. By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change. Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.

Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric_dating




What is IRMS?



Quote
Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) is a specialization of mass spectrometry, in which mass spectrometric methods are used to measure the relative abundance of isotopes in a given sample. [...]

This technique has two different applications in the earth and environmental sciences. The analysis of 'stable isotopes' is normally concerned with measuring isotopic variations arising from mass-dependent isotopic fractionation in natural systems. On the other hand, radiogenic isotope analysis involves measuring the abundances of decay-products of natural radioactivity, and is used in most long-lived radiometric dating methods. [..]

The sector-type instrument designed by Alfred Nier was such an advance in mass spectrometer design that this type of instrument is often called the 'Nier type'. In the most general terms the instrument operates by ionizing the sample of interest, accelerating it over a potential in the kilo-volt range, and separating the resulting stream of ions according to their mass to charge ratio (m/z). The current of each ion beam is then measured using a 'Faraday' detector or multiplier detector.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotope_ratio_mass_spectrometry




What's a Mars mineral alteration timescale?
Quote
In 2006, researchers using data from the OMEGA Visible and Infrared Mineralogical Mapping Spectrometer on board the Mars Express orbiter proposed an alternative Martian timescale based on the predominant type of mineral alteration that occurred on Mars due to different styles of chemical weathering in the planetís past. They proposed dividing the history of the Mars into three eras: the Phyllocian, Theiikian and Siderikan.[61][62]

    * Phyllocian (named after phyllosilicate or clay minerals that characterize the era) lasted from the formation of the planet until around the Late Noachian (about 4.0 Gya). OMEGA identified outcropping of phyllosilicates at numerous locations on Mars, all in rocks that were exclusively Noachian in age (most notably in rock exposures in Nili Fossae and Mawrth Vallis). Phyllosillicates require a water-rich, alkaline environment to form. The Phyllocian era correlates with the age of valley network formation on Mars, suggesting an early climate that was conducive to the presence of abundant surface water. It is thought that deposits from this era are the best candidates in which to search for evidence of past life on the planet.
    * Theiikian (named after sulfurous in Greek, for the sulfate minerals that were formed) lasted until about 3.5 Gya. It was an era of extensive volcanism, which released large amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere. The SO2 combined with water to create a sulfuric acid-rich environment that allowed the formation of hydrated sulfates (notably kieserite and gypsum).
    * Siderikan (named for iron in Greek, for the iron oxides that formed) lasted from 3.5 GYa until the present. With the decline of volcanism and available water, the most notable surface weathering process has been the slow oxidation of the iron-rich rocks by atmospheric peroxides producing the red iron oxides that give the planet its familiar color.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_Mars



How would that work in MCC?
Players normaly take ground samples (more=better). They take those samples into IRMS. The machine estimates the date of the sample in milions of years. After many samples the geological map of the near terrain looks like this:



Now they know where to search closer for minerals they need. But not only that - that data can help with searching for life, and other artifacts. Indeed - the scientific data aquired can show us where we can search for a very rare rock samples, that we can sell to Earth so that they can study it.




Poland here. My time: GMT + 1h
Writing a book about Mars. Any ideas? Type to me.
I'am an Astrobiology/Biology student.

Marco2001

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Re: Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) - Idea
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2011, 10:58:01 AM »
What?! No reply?!
I'am paralyzed with shock ;D

Poland here. My time: GMT + 1h
Writing a book about Mars. Any ideas? Type to me.
I'am an Astrobiology/Biology student.

thedubman

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Re: Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) - Idea
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2011, 12:55:11 PM »
What can I say, It seems bang on too me..

Nice work , (as usual)    ;)

profit004

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Re: Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) - Idea
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 05:07:57 PM »
What?! No reply?!
I'am paralyzed with shock ;D

I was on a bus for a very long journey to another country.... Otherwise I would have responded =p