Articles | Volume 4, issue 2
Geochronology, 4, 551–560, 2022
Geochronology, 4, 551–560, 2022
Short communication/technical note
19 Aug 2022
Short communication/technical note | 19 Aug 2022

Short communication: Mechanism and prevention of irreversible trapping of atmospheric He during mineral crushing

Stephen E. Cox et al.

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Cited articles

Blard, P.-H.: Cosmogenic 3He in terrestrial rocks: A review, Chem. Geol., 586, 120543,, 2021. 
Blard, P.-H., Pik, R., Lavé, J., Bourlés, D., Burnard, P. G., Yokochi, R., Marty, B., and Trusdell, F.: Cosmogenic 3He production rates revisited from evidences of grain size dependent release of matrix-sited helium, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 247, 222–234,, 2006. 
Blard, P.-H., Balco, G., Burnard, P. G., Farley, K. A., Fenton, C. R., Friedrich, R., Jull, A. J. T., Niedermann, S., Pik, R., Schaefer, J. M., Scott, E. M., Shuster, D. L., Stuart, F. M., Stute, M., Tibari, B., Winckler, G., and Zimmerman, L.: An inter-laboratory comparison of cosmogenic 3He and radiogenic 4He in the CRONUS-P pyroxene standard, Quat. Geochron., 26, 11–19,, 2015. 
Boucher, C., Lan, T., Mabry, J., Bekaert, D. V., Burnard, P. G., and Marty, B.: Spatial analysis of the atmospheric helium isotopic composition: Geochemical and environmental implications, Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 237, 120–130,, 2018. 
Cox, S. E.: Dataset for Cox et al. (2022), “Short communication: Mechanism and prevention of irreversible trapping of atmospheric He during mineral crushing,” Geochronology 2021-42 [Data set], Zenodo,, 2022. 
Short summary
Noble gases are largely excluded from minerals during rock formation, but they are produced by certain radioactive decay schemes and trapped in mineral lattices. However, they are present in the atmosphere, which means that they can be adsorbed or trapped by physical processes. We present details of a troublesome trapping mechanism for helium during sample crushing and show when it can be ignored and how it can be easily avoided during common laboratory procedures.