Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

2018 Edition
| Editors: William M. White


  • Catherine ChauvelEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39312-4_88

Element Data

Atomic Symbol: Ce

Atomic Number: 58

Atomic Weight: 140.115 g/mol

Isotopes and Abundances: 136Ce 0.186%, 138Ce 0.251%, 140Ce 88.449%, and 142Ce 11.114%

1 Atm Melting Point: 795 °C

1 Atm Boiling Point: 3443 °C

Common Valences: +3 and +4

Ionic Radii: 3+: 101 pm, 4+: 87 pm

Pauling Electronegativity: 1.12

Chondritic (CI) Abundance: 0.6379 ppm

Silicate Earth Abundance: 1.675 ppm

Crustal Abundance: 63 ppm

Seawater Abundance: ≈1*10−6 ppm

Core Abundance: ~0


Cerium is a reactive and gray metal that tarnishes in air and burns when heated. It usually occurs in substitution to major elements in minerals.

History and Use

Cerium was discovered in Bastnäs (Sweden) in 1803 by J. J. Berzelius and W. Hissinger and was named after asteroid Ceres. Cerium is the most abundant of the lanthanide metals (also called rare earth elements), a group of 15 similar elements between lanthanum and lutetium in the periodic table and behaves cosmochemically as a refractory lithophile element.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ISTerreUniversity Grenoble Alpes, CNRSGrenobleFrance