Diffusion in general is such a widespread phenomenon in nature that a basic knowledge can serve very effectively to address well known applications not only to thermochronology and petrology, but also to environmental geology (e.g., paleoclimate), sedimentology, and applied geosciences (e.g., assessing contamination of gas stations). Indeed, the list of potential applications of diffusion phenomena is so long that an exhaustive treatment would quickly exceed the scope of this review. The reader is therefore referred to reviews covering various aspects of diffusion in the Earth sciences, including diffusion in melts (Watson 1994; Chakraborty 1995), diffusion processes during...

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