Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

Living Edition
| Editors: William M. White


  • J. H. L. Voncken
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39193-9_144-2

Element Data

Atomic Symbol: Yb

Atomic Number: 70

Atomic Weight: 173.054(5)

Isotopes and Abundances:168Yb 0.13 %, 170Yb 3.04 %, 171Yb 14.28 %, 172Yb 21.83 %, 173Yb 16.13 %, 174Yb 31.83 %, 176Yb 12.76 %

1 Atm Melting Point: 824 °C

1 Atm Boiling Point: 1196 °C

Common Valences: 3+, 2+

Ionic Radii: (3+) 4-fold 86.8 pm, 6-fold 92.5 pm, 8-fold 98.5 pm, (2+) 6-fold 108 pm, 8-fold 114 pm

Pauling Electronegativity: 1.1

First Ionization Energy: 603.435 kJ/mol

Chondritic (CI) Abundance: 161 ppb

Silicate Earth Abundance: 441 ppb

Crustal Abundance: 1.9 ppm

Seawater Abundance: ~0.17–1.2 ng/kg

Core Abundance: ~0


Ytterbium is a silvery-white metal, with a slight yellowish tinge (see Figure 1). Ytterbium is a lithophile element (McDonough and Sun, 1995). It is soft, malleable, and quite ductile. It is slowly oxidized by air. However, this oxide layer forms a protective layer on the surface, preventing complete oxidation (Emsley, 2011; Hammond, 2016).


Carbon Capture Atomic Clock Condensation Temperature Geochemical Behavior Incompatible Trace Element 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Department of Geosciences and Engineering, Section Resource EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands