Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 16

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.

2, 2012

Galactic Chemical Evolution and Formation of the Atmosphere


A. B. Bhattacharya1 A. Nag1, 2, and D. K. Tripathi1,3
1

Department of Physics, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, India asit1951@yahoo.com

Department of Physics, Modern Institute of Engineering and Technology, Rajhat, Bandel, Hooghly 712123, India tnnag@gmail.com
3

Department of Physics, Narula Institute of Technology, Calcutta 700109, India dktripathi.nit@gmail.com

Abstract
Recent advances of the evolutionary processes that occur during all stages of the formation of stars are examined with an emphasis on the conceptual diagram of formation of a protostar in the planetary system at (a) Early stage (b) Intermediate (present) stage and (c) Final and future stage. Parameters governing the galactic evolution are focused Stellar properties associated with the evolution processes of low mass stars have been re-looked to investigate the variations at different lifetime. Relations showing the evolution of abundances and gas density as well as the contribution of the volatile components are critically considered. Finally the atmosphere of the inner planets are elaborately discussed including the hypothesis on atmospheric evolution

Keywords: Chemical evolution, stellar properties, low mass stars

1. Introduction
For the development of life adequate environmental conditions are essential. A search of these conditions and early evolution of the atmosphere is important to understand the chemical path and metabolism that had been favored the development of life. Due to the Earths tectonics, the geological record during the Hadean Eon has been totally erased. As a matter of fact, most of our knowledge on atmospheric evolution is indirect. In the present day atmosphere volatile elements have elemental and isotopic compositions related to live and extinct radioactivity products to provide information on the timing of atmospheric evolution. The mantle contains volatile elements which were trapped during earths accretion and might have been preserved since then. Only few elements still keep a record of the volatile component trapped in accreting silicates. Independently, a close look to extraterrestrial bodies and solar wind permits to infer the composition of potential contributors and to compare it with compositions observed in terrestrial reservoirs. Extremely essential sources of information are the compositions of planetary atmospheres. The compositions of the Jovian, Martian and Venusians atmospheres have been already measured, allowing significant advances in this field. The terrestrial atmosphere cannot derive directly from the protostar nebula, the abundance of atmospheric rare gases, the isotopic composition of rare gases and nitrogen are drastically different from those of solar gases [1-3]. The depletion of rare gases in the Earth resulted in high parent-daughter ratios (with the parent as non-volatile element and the daughter as a rare-gas isotope), allowing us to use natural radioactivity products to

February Issue

Page 85 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

quantify the evolution of the terrestrial atmosphere. The aim of this study is to identify the volatile components like H, C, and N, rare gases present at the earths surface and in its interior to infer the potential contributing sources and processes that resulted in the surface and the mantle inventory of the volatile elements.

2. Review of Observational Data


The decay of 40K (T1/2 = 1.25 Ga) to 40Ar explains significantly the relatively high content of Ar in the atmosphere (0.934%) compared with other rare gases. As the major reservoir of terrestrial K is the silicate earth, this observation implies transfer of radiogenic 40Ar from the K-bearing silicates to the atmosphere through time by magmatism and metamorphism [4]. The alteration of rocks at the earths surface could not account for the resources of the atmospheric gases and noting that the composition of volatile elements present at the earths surface (atmosphere + sediments + oceans) resembled to that of volcanic gases, proposed that the atmosphere was formed by volcanic degassing. This view is fully consistent with the K-Ar proportion of the earth as about half the radiogenic Ar is produced by the decay of 40K, is now in the atmosphere. The timing of this transfer was investigated well the analysis of oceanic basalts, presumably derived from the convectic mantle, showed that the radioactive, 40Ar to 36 Ar ratio of the mantle was much higher than that of the atmosphere. To obtain such a high isotopic ratio in the mantle relative to that of the atmosphere, it is necessary to transfer primordial 36Ar from the mantle to the atmosphere before significant radiogenic in-growth of 40 Ar in the mantle from the decay of 40K. Models quantifying this observation led to the concept of catastrophic degassing early in the earths history, a major event that was thought to have occurred in the Hedean-Eon and might have been associated with the core formation [5-9]. A further major progress in the field was the discovery 129Xe excess relative to Xe-isotopic composition of the atmosphere in a few CO2-rich natural gases [10-11] and in mantle-derived, mid ocean ridge basalts [12-14]. 129 Xe is the radioactive daughter of 129I with half life 17 Ma, was synthesized before formation of the solar system. Assuming that the atmosphere was derived from the mantle, the existence of higher 129Xe to 130Xe ratios in the mantle than in the atmosphere implied that the catastrophic degassing of the earth occurred before 129I of the mantle was completely decayed i.e. within a few half lives of 129I. The study of Xe-isotopes allowed model ages of the atmosphere to be computed within the range of 0.1- 0.2 Ga after the start of condensation in the solar system [15-18]. The main problem with the concept of catastrophic degassing as a source of atmospheric gases is due to the other radioactive decays that produced Xe-isotopes. 131-136 Xe are produced by two radio activity processes, (i) the spontaneous fission of still existing 238U (T1/2 = 4.46 Ga), and (ii) that of 244Pu (T1/2 = 82Ma). These two produces Xe isotopes in fairly close proportions, but specific analysis of Xe-isotopes of natural gases and of mid-ocean ridge basalts has allowed estimation of the fraction of fissiogenic Xe in the mantle produced by 244 Pu [19-20] and therefore 129 Xe*/136 Xe*Pu resulting from the decays of 129 I and 244 Pu in the mantle [13]. The atmosphere contains also Xe-isotopes produced by extinct radio activities and the 129 Xe*/136 Xe*Pu ratio of the atmospheric source could also be computed [21-22]. It turned out that there was more Pu-derived Xe relative to I-derived Xe in the atmosphere than in the mantle [13, 23]. Degassing of the atmosphere after the formation of the mantle would have produced the opposite situation as the half-life of 244Pu is longer than that of 129I. This comparison contradicts with the classical view of simple derivation atmospheric gases from

February Issue

Page 86 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

the mantle reservoir early in the earths history: for a common I-Pu geochemical source, the atmosphere as a geochemical reservoir would have been form before the mantle, which is logically ridiculous. A way round this problem is to consider that the hypothesis of a common I-Pu geochemical source is not adequate and that two different geochemical sources contributed Xe in the mantle and in the atmosphere respectively. This implies either (i) Heterogeneous accretion of the bodies with contrasted composition having different I/Pu ratios [13] and (ii) active exchange between atmosphere and mantle occurred, while atmospheric Xe was fractionated during escape [17-18]. However, it must be noted that the identification of Xe components in the earth atmosphere is not yet perfect, as the isotopic composition of primitive Xe that was apparently trapped during the earths formation has not been measured directly in extra-terrestrial samples but has been inferred from a statistical treatment of meteoritic data [21-22], making the terrestrial resources of 129 Xe* and 136Xe*Pu model dependent. Moreover, the non-radiogenic isotopic composition of Xe in the mantle, essential to compute these two values, is not precisely known, although CO2-well gas studies suggesting the existance of non-atmospheric Xe components [24].

3. Conceptual Diagram of Chemical Evolution


Chemical evolution provides the essential insight into the processes which leads to the formation of the chemical materials useful for the generation of life. If the chemical evolution is a universal process, life is unlikely to be a uniquely terrestrial phenomenon and likely to be found wherever there is availability of essential chemical ingredients. In the evolution of galaxies, the low-mass stars can be used to determine the metallicity at the beginning as they are very large in number and have a long life-time [25]. Protostar is the stage of the star after which the hydrogen starts burning. The initial collapse proceeds very fast and at that time the clump is transparent to radiation. The opaque clump is the result of increasing density. The infall of more gas is stopped into the core due to pressure at some point which results in protostar. It has only about 1 % of its final mass. Due to accumulation of materials, the envelope of star continues to grow. The thermonuclear fusion which starts after millions of years in the core of star causes stellar wind. The protostar is then considered as a young star as its mass is fixed and its future evolution is now set. Owing to hydrostatic equilibrium from electron degeneracy pressure the helium fusion begins. The reason of the expansion of the star is the accelerated fusion in the hydrogen-containing layer immediately over the core. This lifts the outer layer away from the core, reducing the gravitational pull on them and expands faster than the energy production increases. Because of this property, the star becomes cold and produces more red color than when it was on the main sequence. The stars are then converted to red giants. A star of less than about 0.5 solar mass is ineligible to fuse He, even after the core ceases H2-fusion and are known as the red dwarfs, some of which will live thousands of times longer than the Sun. Astrophysical models suggest that red dwarfs of 0.1 solar mass may stay on the main sequence for almost six trillion years and take several hundred billion years more to slowly collapse into a white dwarf. If the core of a star becomes stagnant, it will still be surrounded by layers of hydrogen which the star may subsequently draw upon. However, if the star is fully convective like that of a very low mass star, it will not have such surrounding layers. The reservoir exchanged volatile elements with the atmosphere through volcanism and subduction is illustrated in Figure 1.

February Issue

Page 87 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

Figure 1 Formation of a protostar in the planetary system at (a) Early stage (b) Intermediate (present) stage and (c) Final and future stage

4. Parameters Governing the Galactic Evolution


Low mass stars play a very important role in the evolution of galaxies and they can be used to determine the metalicity at the beginning of galactic evolution. Moreover, when one compares their abundance ratio with those observed at other sites they lead to a better understanding of the formation and evolution of early species. The main parameters governing the evolution processes are: 4.1 The Initial Stellar Mass Function The relation between the relative numbers of stars (m) dm [26] with respect to their mass m at their birth is given by, (1) where the exponent x depends on m such that x(m) ~0.6 for m <1.8M and ~2 for m > 1.8 mmin and mmax represents the lower and upper limits of the stellar masses respectively. These two quantities may not be constant everywhere [27-29]. For instance a model have been

February Issue

Page 88 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

proposed for the chemical evolution of our Galaxy for which mmin=0.1 M for the stars formed out of the spiral arms and mmin = 2M for the stars formed inside them [30], to account for the metallicity gradient with respect to the galactocentric distance. Recently scientists have developed a bimodal star-formation model [31] quite similar to the previous one, but with no indication to the galactic arms. Concerning mmax, one may argue that mmax ~1/ with ~ 1 since the largest giant H II region complexes have been observed by Viallefond [32] and others in the external regions of the galactic disc of 101 having low metallicity. 4.2 The Rates of Star Formation The classical Schmidt law relating gas density and stellar density S is dS/dt ~ (1< < 2) can be used to parameterize the rate of star formation as it is a valid representation of the rate of star formation in the high-mass range, from the many tracers of high-mass stars [33]. It is very difficult to determine directly the rate of formation of low-mass stars and attempts is being taken to use the planetary nebulae and the observations of their metallicity to deduce the rate of formation of the low-mass stars. From the analysis it is observed that x 109 years. S(t) ~ et/ with ~ S(t) = S0 for t < tc and thus dS/dt ~ for t tc. This parameter is not always a continuous function since star formation might occur often in the course of evolution of a galaxy. Moreover, the rate of star formation can be stochastic. 4.3 The Yields This provides the relative production of a given nuclear species by a distribution of stars and is in fact related to the different nucleosynthetic contributions of the stars with respect to their mass [34-35]. The yields yi concerning a species i can be written as:

where Qij are the mass fraction of the nucleus j transformed into i in a star of mass m; and X j are the mass fractions of the element j; (m) is the initial mass function(IMF). The yield yi of a stellar generation is defined as the mass of newly synthesized species Zi fraction of matter that is confined in long-living stars and remnants. They are also related to the constraints coming from the nucleosynthesis and stellar evolution [30]. Spectroscopic studies of lowmass stars should provide valuable information about the determination of some of these yields.

5. Stellar properties and the evolution process of low mass stars


The main parameters which govern the evolution of galaxies are the rate of star formation, the stellar initial mass function and the nuclear yields. The modeling of galactic chemical evolution needs the following four ingredients: (i) Initial conditions: The chemical composition of the initial gas either primordial or pre enriched and also whether the system closed or open with infall and outflow. (ii) The stellar birthrate function B(m; t): This is the rate at which the gas is turned into stars of a given mass [36]. It is expressed frequently as the product of the star formation rate

February Issue

Page 89 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

(SFR) and the IMF. These are the reasons to accept that the IMF is independent of time. In that case we can write, B (m; t) = SFR IMF (3) (iii) Stellar lifetimes: Stellar lifetimes m, remnant masses wm and stellar yields Yi(m) are the concerned factors. This mainly considers how elements are produced in stars. (iv) Gas flows: This is concerned with infall, outflow or radial flows. The lifetime of a star of mass m (in M) with solar metallicity (in Z) can be expressed as, m 11.3m-3 + 0.06m-.75 + 0.0012 Gyr. (4)

The stars having lower metallicity live shorter lives if the initial mass of them are smaller [37], whereas stars of higher metallicity lives a longer life. If the mass of a star (m) is low or intermediate the remnant is a white dwarf while for stars 9 < m < 25 the remnant is likely a neutron star. Variation of stellar mass with their lifetime is presented in Figure 2. The figure shows three distinct zones. The lifetime of higher mass stars decreases linearly with increasing mass (zone 1), for stars 9 < m < 25 it is intermediate (zone 2) and for lighter mass stars the lifetime increases very rapidly with a small change in star mass (zone 3).

Figure 2 Variation of Stellar mass with their lifetimes

Figure 3, on the other hand, reveals the variation of stellar lifetime with varying values for different stellar masses. It appears that the light stars live more than the massive one as the rate of consumption of fuel in lighter star is very less than the massive stars.

February Issue

Page 90 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

Figure 4 Stellar mass at different stellar lifetimes

6. Relation showing the evolution of abundances and gas density


The evolution of the gas density and the abundances of the ith element are given by [34, 38-39]. =(5)

where v is the astration-rate, E(m) is the fraction of gas returned at the end of stellar evolution, m is the lifetime of a star of mass m ( m = 1010/m8 +106 yr), and is the possible accretion of gas in the considered zone. Thus, =(6)

where Zi is the mass fraction of the element i in the interstellar medium, pZi the fraction of this element produced in the stars and ti the mass fraction of this element contained in the accreted gas. Study of low-mass stars is not only significant because of their large m but they are also important for the determination of the different pZi, depends critically on the abundance determination concerning them.

7. Identification of Volatile components


Volatile elements are continuously exchanged between the mantle and the surface, due to the occurrence of plate-tectonics, volcanism and plume activity. Figure 4 depicts the efficiency of these homogenizing processes, comparing the mean degassing duration (MDD) for different volatile elements of the atmosphere with the efficiency of recycling at arcs. It is

February Issue

Page 91 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

defined as the total amount of volatile elements in the crust, sediments and oceans and in the atmosphere divided by its degassing rate from the mantle due to mid ocean ridges (MOR) [18]. When MDD is lower than the age of the earth the recycling is faster but when it is greater than the age of the earth then either it is decreasing or occurrence of volatile components at the surface of the earth is not derived from the mantle or both. The vertical axis of Figure 4 is the ratio (FARC/FSUB), between the volatile flux through arc volcanism and the volatile carried by plates towards subduction zones. When the ratio is one then no recycling is there. The correlation between MDD and FARC/FSUB firmly indicates recycling and mantle atmosphere exchange efficiency is reducing from S to C, H2O, N and finally to rare gases [39]. The isotopic compositions of the volatiles mantle and the surface follow this logic well as both S and C isotopic ratios are similar in the mantle and in the surface inventory where as H2O, N, Ne present isotopic heterogeneities, probably representing different volatile sources, not totally homogenized. Hence it is possible to distinguish a mantle reservoir from the surface inventory (atmosphere) and also to investigate the origin of both.

Figure 4 Recycling of volatile elements in the Earth; the horizontal axis represents the surface to the present day flux ratio and the Y-axis is the amount of volatile elements carried by oceanic crust and sediments to subduction zones by the volcanic flux at arcs (FARC/FSUB) [15]

The composition of meteoritic volatiles, supposed to be derived from protosolar nebula through isotopic and elemental fractionation. Contributions from the sources outside the solar system are affected by the inter-stellar chemistry, governing the discovery of pre-solar grains in primitive meteorites. A comparison He, Ne, Ar, C and N between cosmo-chemical potential precursors and terrestrial reservoirs is shown in Figure 5. Volatile abundances are normalized to 20 Ne, as its isotopic composition in the mantle is different from that in the atmosphere.

February Issue

Page 92 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

Figure 5 Comparison of volatile abundances in protosolar nebula (PSN), primitive chondrites, terrestrial mantle and atmosphere, normalized to 20Ne and PSN so that the PSN pattern is flat [17]

7.1 Meteorites Figure 5 depicts a big difference in abundance pattern between PSN and the primitive meteorites, showing different trapping efficiency during condensation of the materials and also exchange between gas and solids for the formation of solar system. The chondritic excess of C and N relative to solar system may be resulting from preferential trapping of those compounds. The large heterogeneity of the N-isotopic composition among solar system is not compatible with a single source (like solar nebula), but rather suggests mixing between different components [40-41]. It is likely to be stated that a major fraction of H and N was incorporated as compounds and the ultimate origin of these elements could be partly interstellar. 7.2 Terrestrial mantle The analysis of rare gases together with C and N of mantle-derived samples allows us to investigate the volatile composition of the mantle. However, data need to be corrected such as partial melting, fractional crystallization, degassing and atmospheric contamination and in the past few years analytical and correction techniques was developed, allowing the reconstructions of the elemental and isotopic composition of the mantle for He, C, N and Ar [42-46]. The mantle displays a chondritic pattern providing important information on the process of delivery as it suggests that the bulk fraction of these volatiles was delivered with minimal fractionation to the earth by chondritic-like material. In fact, it is very surprising that such a chondritic pattern could have been preserved despite the severe fractionating processes that are likely to have occurred during formation of the earth, such as impact degassing, core formation or atmospheric escape. Indeed, the earths mantle is extremely depleted in volatile elements, by a factor 10-3 relative to the carbonaceous chondrites in case of N [43, 47]. The situation resembles that of highly siderophile elements for which a chondritic pattern is found in the mantle in spite of drastic depletion.

February Issue

Page 93 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

8. The Atmosphere of the Inner Planets


Earths atmosphere has been profoundly affected by another process called life. The modern atmosphere, containing abundant oxygen in gross chemical disequilibrium with surface organic carbon and gases such as methane, is testament to lifes ability to efficiently convert light energy into chemical energy, some of which is stored in the chemical disequilibrium between the atmosphere and surface. Significant disequilibrium is not present on the sterile worlds of Venus and Mars, and it has been suggested that the simultaneous presence of pairs of gases like O2 and CH4 in an atmosphere may serve as a planetary biosignature that reveals the presence of abundant life even at a distance. Some gases such as CO2, the principal source of biological reduced carbon, are maintained at mixing ratios much lower than the level predicted in the absence of life. The current terrestrial atmosphere is far from the end state reached by Venus, where all of the surface volatiles are shown in the atmosphere (Table 1). Though the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars have masses of same order of magnitude, they possess atmospheres with extremely dissimilar properties (Table 2). These planets might have initially possessed primordial atmospheres of solar composition whose dominant light gases were lost to space and replaced by out gassed H2O, CO2, and N (with small amounts of other gases) during final phase of accretion 4.5 billion years (Ga) ago. The deviation in atmospheric composition seen today may in part reect differences in initial volatile abundance, but much of the diversity can be endorsed to the individual evolutionary paths of these atmospheres over the age of the Solar System. While the other planets have suffered catastrophic atmospheric evolution (Mercury has experienced complete loss, Venus a runaway greenhouse and de-volatilization of surface rocks, and Mars has lost most of the atmosphere to space), the evolution of earths atmosphere has been comparatively easygoing. Both external processes (radiation, corpuscular wind from the sun), and internal processes (volcanism, recycling of a planets crust) control this evolution. While some processes drive exchange of compounds between the atmosphere and reservoirs in the surface, oceans, or interiors of planets, or the inter conversion of different chemical species, others result in the secular, irreversible evolution of the atmosphere [48-50].
Table 1. The reservoir of the major volatiles on the Earth

Volatile elements H2O

Reservoir Atmosphere Ocean Hydrated Crust Mantle Total Atmosphere Ocean Carbonate rocks Mantle Total Atmosphere Crustal rocks Mantle Total

Size(hPa) < 0.001 26 10 ~100 136 0.00003 0.0002 4 ~26 30 0.078 0.025 ~0.1 0.2

Climatic role Greenhouse gas, carbonate sink, weathering, biology, plate tectonics Greenhouse gas

CO2

N2

Buffer gas, enhances effect of greenhouse gases

February Issue

Page 94 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012


Table 2. The atmosphere of the inner planets

Planet Mercury Venus Earth Mars

Mass(Earths) Pressure(hPa) 0.053 109 0.817 90,000 1 1,000 0.107 7

Composition H, He, Na 96%CO2, 3% N2, minor CO, SO2 78%N2, 21%O2, 1%Ar, minor H2O, CO2 96%CO2, 3% N2, 2%Ar, minor CO, O2

9. Hypothesis on Atmospheric Evolution


CO2 is a minor component of our atmosphere, but it is the major incondensable greenhouse gas. Since the amounts of CO2 in the oceans and carbonate rocks are equivalent to 0.023 and 40 atmospheres, respectively, there is the potential for substantial evolution in atmospheric CO2 levels. Higher CO2 might be the cause for a warmer weather during the Jurassic and Cretaceous ages. But there was a drastic reduction in atmospheric CO2 level over time. The reason for this is the observational fact that the temperature-sensitive weathering of silicate rocks could have regulated the formation of carbonate rocks and restoration of CO2 from the atmosphere. Basically the weathering process acts as a global thermostat: lower CO2 levels would bring about lower temperatures, which would slow weathering and carbonate formation, allowing CO2 levels to go up. Likewise, lower solar luminosity in the past would have been compensated by higher PCO2. Although the geochemical view is compelling, there is actually little confirmation to accept or deny the hypothesis. Under low-oxygen conditions, high CO2 concentrations would have favored the precipitation of minerals like iron carbonate. Nonexistence of siderite in some paleosols may leave a restriction on atmospheric CO2 (Figure 6).

Figure 6 Geochemical constraints on atmospheric pCO2 from rock record (line A) at 2.75 Ga, Estimation of maximum pCO2 in soil waters as a function of temperature (line B) [50]

February Issue

Page 95 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

According to customary theories of the evolutionary process of the main sequence stars, of which the Sun is a distinctive member, the solar luminosity has been steadily increasing by about 40% since the creation of the Sun. The mean surface temperatures of earth-like planets are determined by the energy-balance. If the composition of the atmosphere would not alter, the earths mean surface temperature remains below the icy point of water before about 2 billion years ago. But from sedimentary records there was the confirmation of liquid water always on the earth. A reasonable resolution of the paradox is that the early atmosphere contained more greenhouse gases like CO2, NH3 and CH4. All these gases comprise strong absorption bands that fall within the spectral porthole, where the earth reradiates most of the solar energy it receives back to space, but outside the primary CO2 absorption band at 15 m. Their abundance in the atmosphere depends on their rates of formation and destruction. The largest present day sources of NH3 and CH4 are biological, and that might be the case at previous ages as well. While NH3 is a very effective absorber of infrared radiation, it is easily destroyed by UV radiation and is unlikely to have been abundant enough in the Achaean atmosphere. On the other hand, CH4, has a chemical lifetime of 10 years, is stable with respect to molecular oxygen, but reaction with hydroxyl radicals (OH) from the photolysis of water vapor produces CH3, which does readily react with O2. In the absence of O2 to remove the hydrogen also produced by photolysis, the OH can recombine with H and is no longer an effective sink form ethane. The modern production rate can maintain a CH4 mixing ratio of 10-3 in an anoxic atmosphere, a level that can act in concert with a modest amount of atmospheric CO2 to maintain Achaean temperatures above freezing. However, the dominant modern source of CH4 is the micro biota in the anoxic guts of termites and ruminants. Low-mass stars witness the early revolutionary phases of the galactic evolution. They should limit the choice of the parameters governing the chemical evolution of galaxies. But for that principle progress should be made in the determination of more elemental abundances and especially isotopic ratios which comprise the best input data to deduce the relative yields which are used in the galactic chemical evolution models and also in refining the current analyses of various nucleosynthetic mechanisms. Binaries are also important in the galactic nucleosynthesis. Since more than half of all stars being members of binary systems it is important to consider the effects of binary evolution on nucleosynthesis, and consequently on galactic chemical evolution.

9. Discussion
One major problem of this comparative approach is that the knowledge of the precursors is still limited. For, example the composition of comets is mainly known through remote sensing and in few instances through direct analysis of interplanetary dust particles. But the origin of these objects remains to be established. The concept of primary and secondary elements which has been introduced early might be a bit misleading. Primary elements are defined as those which can be produced directly in any star while secondary elements are only formed from a first generation of primary elements. This categorization should be replaced by that in which one separates the elements produced in high-mass stars which behave like primary elements and those which are produced in low-mass stars which behave like secondary elements. Matteucci [51] studied the problem and concluded that nitrogen is

February Issue

Page 96 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

both a primary and secondary nucleosynthesis product. The primary originated from high and intermediate stars, whereas the secondary nitrogen is from lower-mass stars. A consistent explanation for the origin of is yet to be found. A similar problem exists in the case of sprocess elements and isotopes [52] whose synthesis in intermediate-mass stars or a low-mass star is not yet well-understood. Also in contrast to neighboring planets, our terrestrial atmosphere maintain conditions appropriate for life, in spite of an increase in solar luminosity, giant impacts, and the changing rhythm of plate tectonics. This fact is even more significant in context of the reasonably short residence time of most gases: the most powerful greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, the water vapor, has a residence time of only 10 days before exchanging with the oceans. Even the principal component of the atmosphere, the gaseous nitrogen, is recycled by biological oxidation, reduction, and re reduction to N2 on a time scale of 1015 million years. Thus Earths atmosphere is not only out of chemical equilibrium, but is dynamically maintained, having no inherent buffering ability on geologic span [53]. It has been suggested that the occurrence and evolution of life on earth may have had an intense impact on the climate by regulating the amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or by controlling aerosol production. Observations of the elemental function of biology in the cycling of atmospheric gases are one basis for the Gaia hypothesis in which the biosphere is conceived as regulating climate to retain appropriate conditions for biological movement [48]. The ability of the biosphere to maintain a global environment, most favorable for life is known as homeorrhesis. The terrestrial atmosphere subjected to homeorrhesis by the biosphere throughout its long history is a thrilling hypothesis but difficult to establish. Investigations into the evolution of Earths atmosphere not only snatch with profound questions about our planets habitability but also deal with the possible existence and detection of habitable planets and life around other stars. Human civilization, through the rapid combustion of buried organic compounds, deforestation, and modulation of the planetary albedo contribute the evolution of the atmosphere and climate. What kind of feedback role we will eventually play in the ongoing evolution of our planets atmosphere and climate remains to be observed.

10. Acknowledgement
We are thankful to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India for the financial support through the project (Project No. 03(1153)/10/EMR-II, dated 26.04.2010).

11. References
[1]Brown, H., The Atmospheres of the Earth and the Planets, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1952 [2] Chamberlain, J. W., and D. M. Hunten, Theory of Planetary Atmosphere, New York, Academic Press, 1987 [3] K. Hashizume, M. Chaussidon, B. Marty, and F. Robert, Solar wind record on the Moon: deciphering presolar from planetary nitrogen, Science, 2000, 290, pp. 1142-1145. [4] W. W. Rubey, Geologic history of sea water, Geological society of America Bulletin, 1951, 62, pp. 11111148. [5] M. Ozima, Ar isotopes and Earth-atmosphere evolution models, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 1975, 39, pp. 1127-1140. [6] E. C. Alexander, and D. W. Schwartzman, Argon isotopic evolution of upper mantle, Nature, 1976, 259, pp. 104-108.

February Issue

Page 97 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012


[7] C. J. Allegre, T. Staudacher, P. Sarda, and M. Kurz, Constraints on evolution of Earths mantle from rare gas systematic, Nature, 1983, 303, pp. 762-766. [8] Ozima, M., and F. A. Podosek, Noble Gas Geochemistry, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1983 [9] P. Sarda, T. Staudacher, and C. J. Allegre, 40Ar/36Ar in MORB glasses: constraints on atomosphere and mantle evolution, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1985, 72, pp. 357-375. [10] K. J. Zartman, J. F. Kasting, and J. B., Pollack, Evolution of a steam atmosphere during Earths acceretion, Icarus, 1961, 74, pp. 62-97. [11] D. Phinney, J. Tennyson, and U. Frick, Xenon in the CO2-well gas revisited, Journal of Geophysical Research, 1978, 83, pp. 2313-2319. [12] T. Staudacher, and C. J. Allegre, Terrestrial xenology, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1982, 60, pp. 389-405. [13]B. Marty, Neon and xenon isotopes in MORB: implications for the earth-atmosphere evolution, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1989, 94, pp. 45-56. [14]T. Staudacher, P. Sarda, S. H. Richardson, C. J. Allegre, I. Sagna, and L. V. Dmitriev, Noble gases in basalt glasses from a Mid-Atlantic Ridge topographic high at 140N: geodynamic consequences, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1989, 96, pp. 119-133. [15] T. Staudacher, and C. J. Allegre, Recycling of oceanic crust and sediments: the noble gas subduction barrier, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1988, 89, pp. 173-183. [16] C. J. Allegre, T. Staudacher, and P. Sarda, , Rare gas systematics: formation of the atmosphere, evolution and structure of the Earths mantle, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1987, 81, pp. 127-150. [17] R. O. Pepin, On the origin and early evolution of terrestrial planetary atmospheres and meteoritic volatile, Icarus, 1991, 92, pp. 1-79. [18] I. N. Tolstikhin, and B. Marty, The evolution of terrestrial volatiles: a view from helium, neon, argon and nitrogen isotope modeling, Chemical geology, 1998, 147, pp. 27-52. [19] M. Ozima, R.Wieler, B.Marty, and F. A.Podosek, Comparative studies of solar, Q-gases and terrestrial noble gases, and implications on the evolution of the solar nebula, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 1998, 62, pp. 301-314. [20] J. Kunz, T. Staudacher, and C. J. Allegre, Plutonium-fission xenon found in the Earths mantle, Science, 1998, 280, pp. 877-880. [21] R. O. Pepin, Evolution of Earths noble gases: consequences of assuming hydrodynamic loss driven by giant impact, Icarus, 1979, 126, pp. 148-156. [22] G. Igarashi, Components of xenon in carbonaceous chondrites and fission component in the terrestrial atmosphere, Japan-US Seminar on Terrestrial Noble Gases, Abstracts, 1986, pp. 20-23. [23] M. Ozima, and K. Zahnle, Mantle degassing and atmospheric evolution: noble gas view, Geochemical Journal, 1993, 27, pp. 185-200. [24] M. W. Caffee, G. B. Hudson, C.Velsko, G. Huss, Jr. E. C. Alexander, and A. R. Chivas, Premordial noble gases from the Earths mantle: identification of a primitive volatile component, Science, 1999. 285, pp. 21152118. [25] J. Audouze, and E. V. Flam, Chemical Evolution and Primordial Nucleosynthesis, International Astronomical Union, 1987, pp. 603-611. [26] E. E. Salpeter, The Luminosity Function and Stellar Evolution, Astrophysical Journal, Doi:10.1086/145971, 1955, 121, pp. 161. [27] G. E. Miller, and J. . Scalo, The initial mass function and stellar birthrate in the solar neighborhood, Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 1979, 41, pp. 513-547. [28] J. , Scalo, The stellar initial mass function, Fund. Cos. Phys, 1986, 11, pp. 1-278. [29] H. Zinnecker, M. J. McCaughrean, , and B. A. Wilking, The initial stellar population. In Protostars and Planets III,ed. E. Levy and J. Lunine, Tucson:University of Arizona Press, 1993, pp. 429495. [30]F. C. Adams, and M. Fatuzz , A theory of the initial mass function for star formation in molecular clouds Astrophys. J., 1996, 464, pp. 256271. [31] R. B. Larson, Understanding the Stellar initial mass function, RevMexAA (Serie de Conferencias), 2006, 26, pp. 55-59. [32] F. Boulanger, S. N. Vogel, F. Viallefond and R. Ball, Giant molecular clouds in M31 and M33,Lecture Notes in Physics, DOI: 10.1007/3-540-50438-9_314, 1988, 315, pp. 401-402. [33]M. Spaans and C. M. Carolloe, Effective Star Formation Rates for Cosmological Applications, The Astrophysical Journal, 1998, 502, pp. 640 651. [34] J. Audouze, Chemical Evolution of Galaxies and Abundances in low-Mass Stars, J. Astrophys. Astr., 1987, 8, pp. 147-152. [35] . . Tinsley, The Chemical Evolution of Galaxies, Fund. Cos. Phys., 1980, 5, pp.287.

February Issue

Page 98 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012


[36] O. B. Dluzhnevskaya, Evolution of the stellar birth rate Nauchnye Informatsii, 1966, 4, pp.74. [37] A. Nag, S. De, A.B Bhattacharya, Int. Conference on Energy, Engg. & Eco-balance 2009, Pune, 2009, pp. 106. [38] A., McWilliam, Abundance Ratios and Galactic Chemical Evolution, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, DOI: 10.1146/annurev.astro.35.1.503, 1997, 35, pp. 503-556. [39] P. Sarda, T. Staudacher, and C. J. Allegre, Neon isotopes in submarine basalts, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1988, 91, pp. 73-88. [40] Swindle, T. Meteorites and the Early Solar System, Tucson Univ, Arizona Press, 1988 [41]K. Hashizume, M. Chaussidon, B. Marty, and K. Terada, Protosolar Carbon Isotopic Composition: Implications for the Origin of Meteoritic Organics, The Astrophysical Journal, 2004, 600, pp. 480-484. [42]B. Marty, and A. Jambon, C/3He in volatile fluxes from the solid Earth: implications for carbon geodynamics, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1987, 83, pp. 16-26. [43]B. Marty, Nitrogen content of the mantle inferred from N2-Ar correlation in oceanic basalts, Nature, 1995, 377, pp. 326-329. [44]B. Marty, and F. Humburt, Nitrogen and argon isotopes in oceanic basalts, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1997, 152, pp. 101-112. [45]B. Marty, and J. L. Zimmermann, Volatiles (He, C, N, AR) in mid-oceanic ridge basalts: assessment of shallow-level fractionation and characterization of source composition, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 1999, 63, pp. 3619-3633. [46] M. Moreira, J. Kunz, and C. J. Allegre, Rare gas systematic in Popping Rock: isotope and elemental compositions in the upper mantle, Science, 1998, 279, pp. 1178-1181. [47] N. Dauphas, and B. Marty, Heavy nitrogen in carbonatites of Kola Penisula: a possible signature of the deep mantle, Science, 1999, 286, pp. 2488-2490. [48] E. J. Gaidos, and Y. L. Yung, Evolution of Earths Atmosphere, California Institute of Technology, Elsevier Science Ltd., 2003, pp. 762-767. [49] Holland, H. D. The Chemical Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans, N. J. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1984 [50]R. Rye, P. H. Kuo, and H. D. Holland., Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations before 2.2 billion years ago Nature,1995, 378, pp. 603-605. [51] F. Matteucci, Mon. Not. R. Astr. Soc, cited in Chemical Evolution of Galaxies and Abundances in lowMass Stars by J. Audouze (J. Astrophys. Astr., 1987, 8, pp. 147-152.1986, 221, pp. 911) [52] B. Marty., and N. Dauphas, Formation and Early Evolution of the Atmosphere, Special Publications, The Geological Society of London, London, 2002, 199, pp. 213-229. [53]J. F. Kasting, Earths Early Atmosphere, Science, 1993, 259, pp. 920-926.

February Issue

Page 99 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 4, No.2, 2012 Authors Profile

Prof. A.B Bhattacharya has published more than 200 research papers and 12 text books of high repute. He has conducted many research projects in the Department of Physics, Kalyani University. He is a reviewer of many scientific journals. His field of interest is Solar radio astronomy, radio wave propagation and atmospherics. He did his post doctoral work at the MIT, USA.

A. Nag is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics in Modern Institute of Engineering and Technology and has published more than 10 papers in International Journals. He is working for Ph.D. under the guidance of Prof. Bhattacharya in the Department of Physics, University of Kalyani.

D. K. Tripathi is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics in Narula Institute of Technology and has published more than 10 papers in International Journals. He has submitted his thesis for Ph.D. under the guidance of Prof. Bhattacharya in the Department of Physics, University of Kalyani.

February Issue

Page 100 of 128

ISSN 2229 5216