The observations by Spite & Spite (1982), that the upper values of the lithium abundance in halo stars are one order of magnitude smaller than the ones observed in galactic stars, lead to a large debate about the primordial lithium abundance. The whole problem can be summarized by the following question: has lithium been depleted in the outer layers of halo stars, or has the original lithium been preserved at their surfaces since the beginning?
It seems difficult to maintain the original lithium abundance in halo stars during all their lifetime. Either lithium is depleted due to element separation, or it is destroyed by nuclear reactions. Computations by Proffitt & Michaud (1989) showed that nowhere inside halo stars the lithium abundance could have remained at its original value.
It was suggested by Vauclair (1988) that rotation-induced turbulence could lead to a nuclear destruction of lithium in halo stars large enough to explain their present abundances, with an original abundance equal to the present galactic one. It seemed possible that the “plateau shape” of the abundances be preserved if the turbulent diffusion coefficient decreased rapidly with radius, as in Zahn (1987) (see also Pinsonneault et al. 1992).