Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

Living Edition
| Editors: William M. White

Atmophile Elements

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39193-9_209-1



In the Goldschmidt geochemical classification, atmophile (literally “gas-loving”) are those elements that are extremely volatile, i.e., they form gases or liquids at the surface of the Earth, and they are usually concentrated in the terrestrial atmosphere and hydrosphere. The atmophile elements are Hydrogen (H), Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N), and noble gases , namely Helium (He), Neon (Ne), Argon (Ar), Krypton (Kr), Xenon (Xe), and Radon (Rn).


Victor Moritz Goldschmidt, Swiss mineralogist and geologist is considered the father of geochemistry. His major achievement is the so-called Goldschmidt geochemical classification of the elements. The Goldschmidt geochemical classification of elements groups the chemical elements according to their preferred host phases within the Earth into lithophile (rock-loving), siderophile (iron-loving), chalcophile (sulfur-loving), and atmophile (gas-loving). For this reason, elements from each group are...


Carbon Capture Giant Planet Volatile Element Terrestrial Atmosphere Argon Isotope 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEOTOP, Research Center on the dynamics of Earth SystemUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada