Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Deuterium/Hydrogen Ratio

  • Daniele L. Pinti
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_418-3




The deuterium/hydrogen ratio or D/H is the ratio of the hydrogen isotopes of mass 2 (12H or D, deuterium) and mass 1 (11H or protium). The ratio is a valuable tracer of fractionation processes in hydrogen-bearing (water, hydrocarbon) systems. It has been measured in hydrogenated molecules and hydrous minerals preserved in meteorites and comets and compared to the ratio in the Earth’s oceans and in hydrous minerals from mare basalts and highland rocks of the Moon for determining the carrier of water on the Earth-Moon system. The D/H ratio shows a heliocentric distribution within the Solar System, with the lowest value measured in the Sun (\( \mathrm{D}/\mathrm{H}=21\pm 5\times 1{0}^{-6} \)


Exchange Rate Bioorganic Chemistry Solar System Fractionation Process System Formation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEOTOP Research Center for Geochemistry and GeodynamicsUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada