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  PARI platform

High-resolution Analysis Platform


1. Aim


The aim of the PARI platform was to equip the IPGP with a state-of-the-art analytical platform, consisting of a coherent chain of innovative instruments, to answer fundamental questions in geosciences. Our faculty and engineers are tackling scientific problems ranging from the Solar System to the terrestrial scale to the atomic scale, and from 4.56 billion from years ago to the present, that require a new generation of instruments, grouped in a high-availability high-visibility platform.


2. Instruments


PARI consists of a logical sequence of instruments, which constitute an in situ analysis chain at the micro- and nano-scale:


a) Preparation, microscopy and qualitative analysis

  • Zeiss AxioObserver Z1 microdissection and laser micromachining sampling under controlled and sterile atmosphere
  • Zeiss AURIGA 40 field-emission scanning electron microscope with gallium source FIB
  • Zeiss EVO MA10 scanning electron microscope
  • Magnetic microscope with SQUID sensors
  • ThermoScientific Nicolet iN10 MX microscope for ultra-fast IR micro-imaging of large samples


b) Elemental characterization

  • ThermoScientific Element II mass spectrometer
  • Agilent 7900 quadrupole mass spectrometer
  • Photon Machine Analyte Excite Laser-Ablation system
  • Eclipse A4F fluid fractionation


c) Fine isotopic analysis

  • ThermoScientific MAT253-ULTRA high-resolution gas source spectrometer
  • ThermoScientific Helix SFT high-resolution noble gas spectrometer
  • ThermoScientific NeptunePlus multi-collector ICPMS type magnetic mass spectrometer
  • Photon Machine Analyte Excite Laser-Ablation system


d) Chromatography

  • Dionex DX 220
Dionex ICS 5000+
  • ThermoScientifc iCAP 6200
  • Dionex ICS 1100
  • Dionex DX 120


Zeiss EVO MA 10 SEM


Zeiss AxioObserver Z1 UV microdissector


Zeiss Auriga 40 FIB FE-SEM


ThermoScientific NeptunePlus MC-ICPMS


ThermoScientific MAT 251 ULTRA


ThermoScientific iN10 MX microscope


ThermoScientific Helix SFT


ThermoScientific Element II HR-ICPMS


Agilent 7900 ICPMS


PhotonMachine Analyte laser ablation


Magnetic microscope with SQUID sensors




3. Scientific projects


The platform was conceived to address the following scientific questions:


  • Solar System chronology
  • Planetary building blocks and accretion
  • Primitive differentiation of the core and mantle
  • Extraterrestrial magnetism
  • Magnetism on the primitive Earth
  • Formation of the Moon
  • First atmospheres and oceans
  • Beginning of Life
  • Environmental magnetism and paleomagnetism
  • Volcanism: from surveillance to quantification of magma transfer
  • Formation, composition and evolution of the oceanic lithosphere
  • Hydrothermalism, serpentinization, and associated biogeochemical fluxes
  • Evolution of ocean pH through geologic time
  • Absolute temperature of formation of geo-molecules
  • Planetary geo-physiology
  • Environmental impact and molecular speciation of metals


4. Scientific highlights


Here are some of the scientific highlights originating from the platform's recent activity:


  • Noble-gas isotopic composition of the deep mantle and constraints on the origin of light noble gases on Earth from bubble-by-bubble noble gas analyses on Iceland basalts performed using laser ablation (Colin et al. 2015)
  • Moon and Earth share similar iron isotopic composition and therefore the Moon did not lose much iron by evaporation as previously suggested; provides important constraints on the temperature following the giant impact (Sossi et al. 2017)
  • The dissolution of magnesium in molten iron at extreme P and T was evidenced experimentally for the first time, providing a petrological process to drive a long-lived geodynamo by chemical buoyancy very early in Earth's history (Badro et al. 2016)
  • Individual mineralized bacterial filaments involved in the edification of hydrothermal chimneys in New Caledonia were isolated and identified; they belong to the Firmicutes and Acetothermia phyla, and descend from organisms that may have inhabited an early branch on the tree of life (Pisapia et al. 2017)
  • Evidence for yet-unconsidered carbon sources readily available for life at depth in mantle-derived rocks by migrating hydrothermal oils (Pasini et al., 2013)
  • Study of the behavior and fate of major and trace elements in solids and solutions in the Encontro das Aguas mixing zone in the Amazonian basin (Guinoiseau et al. 2016)
  • The isotopic abundances of lithium in the Amazon river and its main tributaries shows that the isotopic variations in the basin are simply related to the intensity of chemical weathering (Dellinger 2015)
  • The chemical composition of sediments transported by the Mackenzie river to the ocean shows that a large flux of biospheric carbon is being transported as particles into the Arctic ocean (Hilton et al. 2015)
  • Moon is highly depleted in volatile elements from the Zn isotopic measurement (Neptune plus) of the most volatile rich lunar rock: Apollo 15 Rusty Rock (Day et al. 2017)
  • High precision Rb isotopic measurements are developed and applied to study the composition of a wide range of solar system materials, including lunar samples, eucrites and heated carbonaceous chondrites. They show that volatile depletion in chondrites is controlled by phases separations and mixing between reservoirs and not volatilization and that differentiated asteroids such as Vesta are depleted by evaporation on the parent body (Pringle et al. 2017)
  • Samples from the first nuclear test at Trinity (Nevada Test Site, USA) were used to evaluate the isotopic fractionation factor of Zn during high energy impact (Day et al. 2017)
  • Partitioning experiments carried out at extreme pressures and temperatures show that sulfur is only a minor component of the terrestrial core; along with other volatiles, it was likely delivered during late stages of accretion of large impactors (Suer et al. 2017)
  • Origin of the ubiquitous atmospheric noble gas component in oceanic basalts (Roubinet and Moreira 2017)
  • The lithium isotopic composition of modern day river sediments from the largest rivers, once corrected from bedrock composition, is inversely correlated to the ratio W/D of chemical denudation over total (chemical + physical) denudation flux and may serve as a proxy for paleo reconstruction of the Earth's surface chemical weathering (Dellinger et al. 2017)
  • The neodynium isotopic composition in sediment cores around New Zeland clearly reveals a double control of physical erosion and chemical weathering by tectonics and climate (Cogez et al. 2015)
  • The nature of Earth's building blocks is constrained from the redox state of the primitive magma ocean, and Earth accreted under the same relatively oxidizing conditions under which the most common types of meteorites formed (Siebert et al. 2013)
  • Helium isotopes in fluids from the hydrothermal fields of the Santorini Caldera, providing fundamental constraints on its volcanic plumbing (Moreira et al. 2017)
  • For the first time, osmium isotope ratios were measured at the pg level, thanks to a multiple ion counting platform installed on the Neptune Plus (Birck et al. 2016)
  • The isotopic boron composition of inorganic carbonates precipitated under well contained experimental conditions shows that the boron isotopic composition is first a function of the crystallographic nature of the carbonate (Noireaux et al. 2015)
  • Development of a reliable single-particle ICPMS methodology to ensure the measurement of relatively small TiO2 NPs in the presence of high calcium concentrations, as is typical for natural waters (Tharaud et al. 2017)
  • Measurement of the first mass-independent fractionation of selenium isotopes, with non-zero ∆77Se anomalies likely reflecting a magnetic effect occurring during abiotic selenite reduction (Bouyon et al. 2017)
  • IPGP is proud to announce its first laser-ablation MC-ICP-MS data for Mg isotopes in silicate rocks! thanks to a method of matrix bias correction aced on synthetic glasses and validated by solution measurements (Chaussidon et al. 2017)
  • Experiments show that the amounts of K and U in the core are insufficient to power an early geodynamo, appreciably reduce initial core temperature, or significantly alter its thermal evolution and the age of the inner core (Blanchard et al. 2017)
  • The measurement of Br isotope ratios by MC-ICP-MS necessitates 100 times less Br than previous IRMS technics, thus broadening the field of research on halogen isotopes (Louvat et al. 2016)
  • Combined geochemical and geophysical constraints on core formation and composition reveal an oxygen-rich silicon-poor and volatile depleted terrestrial core (Badro et al. 2015)