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Deuterium/Hydrogen Ratio

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D/H

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The deuterium/hydrogen ratio or D/H is the ratio of the hydrogen isotopes of mass 2 (\( {}_1^2{\text{H }} \) or D, deuterium) and mass 1 (\( {}_1^1{\text{H }} \) or protium). The ratio is a valuable tracer of fractionation processes in hydrogen-bearing (water, hydrocarbon) systems. It has been measured in hydrogenated molecules preserved in planetary bodies such as meteorites and comets and used for determining the carrier of oceanic water on the Earth. The D/H ratio shows a heliocentric variance within the solar system, with the lowest value measured in the Sun (D/H = 21 ± 5 × 10−6) and the highest in the HCN compounds in comets (D/H = 2300 ± 400 × 10−6). This variance is mostly related to the deuterium isotopic exchange rate between molecular hydrogen and water.

See also

Carbonaceous Chondrite

Chondrite

Comet

Hydrogen Isotopes

Solar System Formation (Chronology)

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Correspondence to Daniele Pinti .

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© 2011 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Pinti, D. (2011). Deuterium/Hydrogen Ratio. In: , et al. Encyclopedia of Astrobiology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-11274-4_418

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