Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

2018 Edition
| Editors: William M. White


  • Christophe LécuyerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39312-4_253

Element Data

Atomic Symbol: B

Atomic Number: 5

Atomic Weight: [10.806, 10.821]

Isotopes and Abundances: 10B: 19.9 ± 7%, 11B: 80.1 ± 7

1 Atm Melting Point: 2,350 °C

1 Atm Boiling Point: 4,000 °C

Common Valences: +3

Ionic Radii: atomic radius = 87 pm, covalent radius = 84 pm

Pauling Electronegativity: 2.04

First Ionization Potential: 800.6 kJ.mol−1

Chondritic (CI) Abundance: 0.78 ppm (16.9 ± 2.2 atoms/106Si)

Silicate Earth Abundance: 0.26 ± 0.04 ppm

Crustal Abundance: 17 ppm

Seawater Abundance: 4.5 ppm

Core Abundance: ~0


Boron is a metalloid with a rhombohedral crystal structure. This element belongs to the group 13 and period 2 of the periodic table (Fig. 1). Boron has sixteen known isotopes of which two are stable, 10B and 11B, of relative atomic mass 10.01293695(41) and 11.00930536(45) (source of data: National Institute of Standards and Technology): http://www.nist.gov/pml/data/comp.cfm. Geochemists measure the relative variations in the 11B/ 10B of terrestrial and...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Aggarwal J, Palmer MR, Bullen TD, Arnorsson S, Ragnarsdottir KV (2000) The boron isotope systematics of Icelandic geothermal waters: 1. Meteoric water charged system. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 64:579–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agulhon H (1910) Présence et utilité du bore chez les végétaux. Ann Inst Pasteur (Paris) 24:321–329Google Scholar
  3. Bebout GE, Ryan JG, Leeman WP, Bebout AE (1999) Fractionation of trace elements by subduction-zone metamorphism – effect of convergent margin thermal evolution. Earth Planet Sci Lett 171:63–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Broecker WS, Peng T-H (1982) Tracers in the sea. Lamont-Doherty Geol. Observation. Eldigo Press, Palisades. 690 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown J, Colling A, Park D, Philliips J, Rothery D, Wright J (1989) Seawater: its composition, properties and behaviour. The Open University. Pergamon Press, Oxford, p 165Google Scholar
  6. Butterwick L, de Oude N, Raymond K (1989) Safety assessment of boron in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 17:339–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Catanzaro EJ, Champion CE, Garner EL, Marinenko G, Sappenfield KM, Shields WR (1970) Standard reference materials: boric acid; Isotopic, and assay standard reference materials. U.S. National Bureau of Standards. Special publication 206–17, 70 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. Chaussidon M (1995) Isotope geochemistry of boron in mantle rocks, tektites and meteorites. CR Acad Sci Paris 321:455–472Google Scholar
  9. Chaussidon M, Jambon A (1994) Boron content and isotopic composition of oceanic basalts: geochemical and cosmochemical implications. Earth Planet Sci Lett 121:277–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chaussidon M, Robert F (1995) Nucleosynthesis of 11B-rich boron in the presolar cloud recorded in meteoric chondrules. Nature 374:337–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Choi W-W, Chen KY (1979) Evaluation of boron removal by adsorption on solids. Environ Sci Technol 13:189–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coursey JS, Schwab DJ, Tsai JJ, Dragoset RA (2010) Atomic weights and isotopic compositions. National Institute of Standards and Technology, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  13. Culberson C, Pytkowicz RM (1967) Effect of pressure on carbonic acid, boric acid and the pH of seawater. Science 157:59–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Davy H (1808) Electro-chemical researches, on the decomposition of the Earths; with observations on the metals obtained from the alkaline earths, and on the amalgam procured from ammonia. Phil Trans R Soc London 98:333–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dembitsky VM, Smoum R, Al-Quntar AA, Ali HA, Pergament I, Srebnik M (2002) Natural occurrence of boron-containing compounds in plants, algae and microorganisms. Plant Sci 163:931–942CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Felmy A, Weare JH (1986) The prediction of borate mineral equilibria in natural waters: application to Searles Lake, California. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 50:2771–2783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gay-Lussac JL, Thénard LJ (1808) Sur la décomposition et la recomposition de l’acide boracique. Ann Chim Phys 68:169–174Google Scholar
  18. Gemery-Hill PA, Shanks WCIII, Balistrieri LS, Lee GK (2007) Geochemical data for selected drivers, lake waters, hydrothermal vents, and subaerial geysers in Yellowstone National Park. In: Morgan LA (ed) Integrated geoscience studies in the greater Yellowstone area: volcanic, tectonic, and hydrothermal processes in the Yellowstone Geoecosystem: U.S. Geological Survey professional paper. U.S. Department of the Interior Reston, Vinginia. 1717, pp 365–426Google Scholar
  19. Gill JB (1981) Orogenic Andesites and plate tectonics. Springer, New York, p 390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goldschmidt VM (1926) Geochemische Verteilungsgesetze der Elemente. Skrifter Norske Videnskaps – Akad, Oslo. (I) Mat. NaturGoogle Scholar
  21. Hawthorne FC (1996) Structural mechanisms for light-element variations in tourmaline. Can Mineral 34:123–132Google Scholar
  22. Haynes WM (2015) CRC handbook of chemistry and physics, 95th edn. CRC Press/Taylor and Francis, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  23. Hemming NG, Hanson GN (1992) Boron isotopic composition and concentration in modern marine carbonates. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 56:537–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hu H, Brown PH (1997) Absorption of boron by plant roots. Plant Soil 193:49–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Leeman WP, Sisson VB (1996) Geochemistry of boron and its implications for crustal and mantle processes. In: Reviews in mineralogy, vol 33. Minenalogical Society of America Chantillly, Virginia, pp 645–707Google Scholar
  26. Lemarchand D, Gaillardet J, Lewin E, Allègre CJ (2000) The influence of rivers on marine boron isotopes and implications for reconstructing past ocean pH. Nature 403:951–954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lodders K (2010) Solar system abundances of the elements. In: Goswami A, Reddy BE (eds) Principles and perspectives in cosmochemistry. Astrophysics and space science proceedings. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 379–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Menard G, Vlastélic I, Ionov DA, Rose-Koga EF, Piro J-L, Pin C (2013) Precise and accurate determination of boron concentration in silicate rocks by direct isotope dilution ICP-MS: insights into the B budget of the mantle and B behavior in magmatic systems. Chem Geol 354:139–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moissan H (1895) Etude du bore amorphe. Ann Chim Phys 6:296–320Google Scholar
  30. Morris JD, Leeman WP, Tera F (1990) The subducted component in island arc lavas: constraints from Be isotopes and B-Be systematics. Nature 344:31–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Moseman RF (1994) Chemical disposition of boron in animals and humans. Environ Health Perspect 102:113–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Musashi M, Oi T, Ossaka T, Kakihana H (1991) Natural boron isotope fractionation between hot spring water and rock in direct contact. Isotopenraxis 27:163–166Google Scholar
  33. Pfeiffer CC, Hallman LF, Gersh I (1945) Boric acid ointment – a study of possible intoxication in the treatment of burns. J Am Med Assoc 128:266–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rosner M, Erzinger J, Franz G, Trumbull RB (2003) Slab-derived boron isotope signatures in arc volcanic rocks from the Central Andes and evidence for boron isotope fractionation during progressive slab dehydration. Geochem Geophys Geosyst.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2002GC000438
  35. Rudnick RL, Gao S (2005) Composition of the continental crust. In: Rudnick RL (ed) Treatise on geochemistry, The crust, vol 3. Elsevier-Pergamon, Oxford, pp 1–64Google Scholar
  36. Ryan JG, Langmuir CH (1993) The systematics of boron abundances in young volcanic rocks. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 57:1489–1498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Seyfried WE, Janecky DR, Mottl MJ (1984) Alteration of the oceanic crust: implications for geochemical cycles of lithium and boron. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 48:557–569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shaw DM, Higgins MD, Hinton RW, Truscott MG, Middleton TA (1988) Boron in chondritic meteorites. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 52:2311–2319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Simon L, Lécuyer C, Maréchal C, Coltice N (2006) Modelling the geochemical cycle of boron: implications for the long-term δ11B evolution of seawater and oceanic crust. Chem Geol 225:61–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sisk DB, Colvin BM, Bridges CR (1988) Acute, fatal illness in cattle exposed to boron fertilizer. J Am Vet Med Assoc 193:943–945Google Scholar
  41. Spivack AJ, Edmond JM (1987) Boron isotopic exchange between seawater and the oceanic crust. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 51:1033–1043CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Straub SM, Layne GD (2002) The systematics of boron isotopes in Izu arc front volcanic rocks. Earth Planet Sci 198:25–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Travis NJ, Cocks EJ (1984) The tincal trail – a history of borax. Harrap, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. Vengosh A, Kolodny Y, Starinsky A, Chivas AR, McCulloch MT (1991) Coprecipitation and isotopic fractionation of boron in modern biogenic carbonates. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 55:2901–2910CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Warington K (1923) The effect of boric acid and borax on the broad bean and certain other plants. Ann Bot 37:629–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Weintraub E (1911) On the properties and preparation of the element boron. J Ind Eng Chem 3:299–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wisniak J (2005) Borax, boric acid, and boron – from exotic to commodity. Indian J Chem Technol 12:488–500Google Scholar
  48. Xiao J, Xiao Y-K, Jin Z-D, He M-Y, Liu C-Q (2013) Boron isotope variations and its geochemical application in nature. Aust J Earth Sci 60:431–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhai M, Shaw DM (1994) Boron cosmochemistry. Part I: boron in meteorites. Meteoritics 29:607–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, LGL-TPECNRS UMR 5276, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and Institut Universitaire de FranceLyonFrance