The accretion rate of extraterrestrial 3He based on oceanic 230Th flux and the relation to Os isotope variation over the past 200,000 years in an Indian Ocean core

Franco Marcantonio, Karl K. Turekian, Sean Higgins, Robert F. Anderson, Martin Stute, Peter Schlosser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


In the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, the flux of extraterrestrial 3He, a proxy of interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), has been relatively constant over the past 200 ka. The flux is equal to (1.1 ± 0.4) x 10-12 cm3 STP cm-2 ka-1, a value obtained using the xs230Th profiling method. Variations in mass accumulation rates (MARs) derived assuming a constant extraterrestrial 3He flux have a 40-ka periodicity similar to that observed in the δ18O-derived MARs. This frequency is similar to that of the Earth's obliquity. Measured 187Os/188Os ratios are less radiogenic than present-day seawater (0.49-0.98), reflecting the mixing of Os derived from extraterrestrial, terrigenous and hydrogenous sources. When coupled with He data measured on the same samples. Os isotope data yield important information about the terrigenous component supplied to the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean. The amount of Os in the sample derived from the extraterrestrial component can be deduced with the help of the helium systematics. Once corrected for the extraterrestrial component of Os, Os isotope signatures, in conjunction with the 4He concentrations, suggest a supply of terrigenous material from Indonesian ultramafic and Himalayan crustal sources that clearly varies through time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 15 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Accretion
  • Cosmic dust
  • Helium
  • Osmium
  • Paleoceanography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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