Systematic variation of rare earths in monazite

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
By: , and 



Ten monazites from widely scattered localities have been analyzed for La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Gd, Y and Th by means of a combined chemical and emission spectrographic method. The analytical results, calculated to atomic percent of total rare earths (thorium excluded), show a considerable variation in the proportions of every element except praseodymium, which is relatively constant.

The general variation trends of the elements may be calculated by assuming that the monazites represent different stages in a fractional precipitation process, and by assuming that there is a gradational increase in the precipitability of rare earth elements with decreasing ionic radius. Fractional precipitation brings about an increase in lanthanum and cerium, little change in praseodymium, and a decrease in neodymium, samarium, gadolinium, and yttrium.

Deviations from the calculated lines of variation consist of a simultaneous, abnormal increase or decrease in the proportions of cerium, praseodymium, and neodymium with antipathetic decrease or increase in the proportions of the other elements. These deviations are ascribed to abnormally high or low temperatures that affect the precipitability of the central trio of elements (Ce, Pr, Nd) relatively more than that of the other elements.

The following semiquantitative rules have been found useful in describing the composition of rare earths from monazite:

1. The sum of lanthanum and neodymium is very nearly a constant at 42 ± 2 atomic percent.
2. Praseodymium is very nearly constant at 5 ± 1 atomic percent.
3. The sum of Ce, Sm, Gd, and Y is very nearly a constant at 53 ± 3 atomic percent. No correlation could be established between the content of Th and that of any of the rare earth elements.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Systematic variation of rare earths in monazite
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/0016-7037(53)90058-1
Volume 4
Issue 6
Year Published 1953
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Description 9 p.
First page 292
Last page 300
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