Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences

In the laboratory, rock samples are crushed and the zircon grains are separated from the other minerals by heavy liquid and other mineral separation techniques. After being mounted, the crystals can be analyzed using an instrument such as a SHRIMP Sensitive High mass Resolution Ion MicroProbe which focuses a very narrow ion beam onto the grains so that mass spectrometers can measure the ratios of the isotopes vaporized from the targeted spot. In this way, even different growth zones in individual crystals can be analyzed and thus “dated. An alternative procedure is to take all the zircon grains liberated from a rock sample, and if they are of uniform composition, chemically digest them into solution for standard mass spectrometer analysis. This dating method has become very popular for dealing with Precambrian terranes where it can often be difficult to resolve relationships between rock units and the geological history. But just how good is this dating method? It must be assumed that when the zircon grains crystallized, no radiogenic Pb was in them, and that all the radiogenic Pb now measured was derived by radioactive decay from U and Th. However, there are several lines of evidence that indicate radiogenic Pb can be inherited during crystallization of the mineral grains, and that open-system behavior is common, with radiogenic Pb lost by diffusion due to the way the Pb is held in the crystal lattice. Wetherill 4 and Wasserburg 5 subsequently derived mathematical equations to describe this steady loss and demonstrated its consistency with published U-Pb age data. Wasserburg 5 also proposed that Pb loss by diffusion resulted from radiation damage to crystal lattices.

Uranium–lead dating

Monazite is an underutilized mineral in U—Pb geochronological studies of crustal rocks. It occurs as an accessory mineral in a wide variety of rocks, including granite, pegmatite, felsic volcanic ash, felsic gneiss, pelitic schist and gneiss of medium to high metamorphic grade, and low-grade metasedimentary rocks, and as a detrital mineral in clastic and metaclastic sediments. In geochronological applications, it can be used to date the crystallization of igneous rocks, determine the age of metamorphism in metamorphic rocks of variable metamorphic grade, and determine the age and neodymium isotopic characteristics of source materials of both igneous and sedimentary rocks.

It is particularly useful in the dating of peraluminous granitic rocks where zircon inheritance often precludes a precise U—Pb age for magmatic zircon. The U—Pb systematics of the mineral are not without complexity, however.

U-Pb. Rutile. Apatite. Titanite. Lower crust. Diffusion. A B S T R A C T. Volume diffusion of Pb We assume here that Pb diffusive loss only occurs at the outermost Effect of metamorphic reaction history on the U-Pb dating.

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide. Zircon has been widely used as a geochronometer with the U—Pb decay system but rarely with the Th—Pb system. As a one-dimensional system, a series of consistent Th—Pb ages can be used to date a geological event. In contrast, a wide variation in Th—Pb ages could result from Pb loss or multiple growth events, making it difficult to link to specific geological events.

The results demonstrated that these seven U—Pb zircon standards have similar absolute concentrations of common lead. The radiogenic Pb concentrations depending on the Th content and age determine the proportion of common lead and define the extent of variation in the Th—Pb system under certain analytical conditions. This relationship could be used as a criterion to evaluate whether it is a single population or not based on Th—Pb dating results of unknown zircons. If you are not the author of this article and you wish to reproduce material from it in a third party non-RSC publication you must formally request permission using Copyright Clearance Center.

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These terms should be limited to synthetic or transformed and homogenized natural materials with certified elemental or isotopic compositions. Chemical Geology , Precise U—Pb ages of Duluth Complex and related mafic intrusions, northeastern Minnesota: geochronological insights into physical, petrogenetic, paleomagnetic and tectonomagmatic processes associated with the 1.

presence of non-radiogenic Pb of unknown isotopic composition;; deviations from closed system evolution (gain or loss of U, loss of intermediate.

Cara L. Donnelly, William L. To provide better constraints on the sources of the kimberlite magmas and the timing of magmatism, we have carried out in situ U—Pb dating and Sr—Nd isotopic analysis of groundmass perovskite from four of the Kuruman kimberlites Bathlaros, Elston, Helpmekaar and Zero. We also have measured the Sr-isotope composition of groundmass apatite and carbonate in several of the kimberlites, for comparison with published whole-rock isotopic data.

Attempts to date perovskite using in situ laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry LA-ICP-MS were hindered by extensive Pb loss, even in apparently unaltered grains, yielding anomalously young emplacement ages. The smaller sampling volume of secondary ion mass spectrometry and the ability to measure Pb, thus allowing more precise common-Pb corrections, produces concordant ages. The results of this study suggest that alteration may disrupt the U—Pb system in perovskite. The isotopic data suggest that the Kuruman kimberlite magmas were initially derived from a deeper sub-lithospheric source region, but their distinctive compositional characteristics were imposed through assimilation, first of metasomatized sub-continental lithospheric mantle and later of crustal material, during magma ascent.

Kimberlites are rare, small-volume, potassic and volatile-rich ultramafic rocks that have been the focus of many geochemical studies. In addition to being the carriers of diamonds and mantle xenoliths, kimberlite magmas can provide insights into deep Earth processes, including the links between metasomatism and low-degree melting. However, studies of kimberlites are complicated by their hybrid nature and their common post-intrusion alteration. High volatile contents make kimberlites particularly susceptible to weathering Mitchell, , Additionally, the presence of xenoliths and xenocrysts entrained from the mantle and crust can result in disturbed, mixed and inherited ages e.

Smith et al.

Reference materials

Apatite geochronology is a versatile method for providing medium temperature history constraints of magmatic and metamorphic rocks. Magmatic apatite often shows a sufficient spread in data to obtain a precise and accurate lower intercept age. If this is not the case, the initial Pb isotopic composition needs to be estimated to obtain accurate and precise age information from apatite. Two approaches are common, one being the estimation of common Pb from a Pb evolution model and the other being the measurement of a coexisting mineral phase that tends to incorporate Pb but not U, e.

1) prevalence of the Pb loss effect implies that crustal zircon grains would U-Pb Dating): Implication for deep geodynamics of modern oceans.

The new mass spectrometer is equipped with a highly sensitive and linear Daly ion counting system and high-resistance 10E12 Ohm Faraday cups for low-level multicollection of small Pb and U ion beams. It is operational since September and delivers U-Pb dates of 0. Our precision and reproducibility of zircon U-Pb dating using chemical-abrasion, isotope-dilution, thermal ionisation mass spectrometry.

For most recent developments see Schaltegger et al. The intercalibration is regularly checked every 12 months, and continues to yield the same perfect coincidence since the Triton TIMS has been upgraded with 1E13 Ohm resistance amplifiers in These results have been presented at Goldschmidt Conference in Boston Schaltegger, and are subject to a scientific publication in an international journal. Davies J. Goldschmidt Conference , Prague, Schaltegger U.

Developing state-of-the-art analytical techniques for high-precision U-Pb dating

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some grains yielded anomalously young U-Pb ages that implicated Pb-loss and motivated us to investigate with a comparative CA and non-CA dating study.

The main products of volcanic activity in the teschenite-picrite association TPA are shallow, sub-volcanic intrusions, which predominate over extrusive volcanic rocks. They comprise a wide range of intrusive rocks which fall into two main groups: alkaline teschenite, picrite, syenite, lamprophyre and subalkaline dolerite. The weighted average age for all three samples is Available data suggest that volcanic activity in the Silesian Basin took place from to Ma with the the main magmatic phase constrained to Ma.

Azambre B. Chamberlain K. Cherniak D. Acta 55, Chew D.

U–Pb geochronology and Hf isotope data from the Late Cretaceous Mawat ophiolite, NE Iraq

It consists of many metre-to kilometre-sized tectonic slices of serpentinized dunite, peridotite, gabbro, basaltic rocks and associated oceanic metasediments. Felsic intrusions crosscut the ophiolite. We present U—Pb zircon and monazite ages and Hf zircon isotopes from two crosscutting felsic dykes and a gabbro from the mantle section of the ophiolite. Zircons from the felsic dykes contain spongy domains and xenotime and monazite inclusions.

They give ages from to 46 Ma.

Uranium–lead dating, abbreviated U–Pb dating, is one of the oldest and most refined of the Under conditions where no lead loss or gain from the outside environment has occurred, the age of the zircon can be calculated by assuming.

Thank you for visiting nature. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. Zircon of crustal origin found in mantle-derived rocks is of great interest because of the information it may provide about crust recycling and mantle dynamics. Consideration of this requires understanding of how mantle temperatures, notably higher than zircon crystallization temperatures, affected the recycled zircon grains, particularly their isotopic clocks.

Annealing experiments with natural zircon embedded in cristobalite an effective zircon sealant show that zircon grains do not lose Pb to their surroundings, although they may lose some Pb to molten inclusions. Diffusion tends to homogenize the Pb concentration in each grain changing the U-Pb and Th-Pb isotope ratios proportionally to the initial Pb, Pb and Pb concentration gradients no gradient-no change but in most cases the original age is still recognizable.

It seems, therefore, that recycled crustal zircon grains can be detected, and even accurately dated, no matter how long they have dwelled in the mantle.

High precision U-(Th)-Pb chronology

Official websites use. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Zircon geochronology is a critical tool for establishing geologic ages and time scales of processes in the Earth’s crust. However, for zircons compromised by open system behavior, achieving robust dates can be difficult. Chemical abrasion CA is a routine step prior to thermal ionization mass spectrometry TIMS dating of zircon to remove radiation-damaged parts of grains that may have experienced open system behavior and loss of radiogenic Pb.

While this technique has been shown to improve the accuracy and precision of TIMS dating, its application to high-spatial resolution dating methods, such as secondary ion mass spectrometry SIMS , is relatively uncommon.

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At present, Chemostrat can determine U-Pb ages for zircon and apatite crystals. Zircon is a robust mineral and so the crystals preserve the age at which they formed or underwent high grade metamorphism. Consequently, U-Pb zircon geochronology can be employed to constrain the age of the basement rocks and in turn can help to identify sediment dispersal patterns and to correlate sandstones. If the analysed zircon crystal has not suffered either Pb loss or U gain, it will plot on the concordia line from which its age can be deduced.

Sandstones frequently contain detrital zircon grains and if these grains are undisturbed and concordant, their ages provide some clue as to their provenance. Generally at least fifty grains from each sandstone sample need to be analysed in order to obtain reliable data. The age of apatite grains can be calculated by plotting their U-Pb isotopic composition to form a discordia line. Apatite has a lower closure temperature than zircon, i.

Therefore, they provide different information about the source of sandstones than zircons such as low grade metamorphic rocks. This provides further information about sediment input pathways to sedimentary basins and, when combined with detrital zircon analysis, provides a powerful tool to identify the provenance of sediments.

U-Pb Dating of Apatite The age of apatite grains can be calculated by plotting their U-Pb isotopic composition to form a discordia line.

U-Pb Zircon & Apatite dating

Uranium—lead dating , abbreviated U—Pb dating , is one of the oldest [1] and most refined of the radiometric dating schemes. It can be used to date rocks that formed and crystallised from about 1 million years to over 4. The method is usually applied to zircon.

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Apollo 12 breccia is composed of two portions, one grey in colour, the other black. The grey portion of the breccia consists mainly of felsite thought to have formed during a single crystallisation event, while the black part is characterized by presence of lithic fragments of noritic rocks and individual plagioclase crystals. In this study, U-Pb analyses of Ca-phosphate and zircon grains were conducted in both portions of the breccia.

Moreover, some grains exhibit recrystallisation features and potentially formation of neoblasts. The latter process requires high temperatures above degrees C leading to the decomposition of the primary zircon grain and subsequent formation of new zircon occurring as neoblasts. This age was interpreted to date the Imbrium impact. Given the brecciated nature of this part of the sample, the interpretation of these ages as representing igneous crystallisation or resetting by impact events remains ambiguous since there is no direct link to their source rocks via textural relationships or crystal chemistry.

Similarly, the currently available zircon data set for all lunar samples may be distorted by partial Pb loss, resulting in meaningless and misleading age distribution patterns. Therefore, it is crucial to fully understand and recognize the processes and conditions that may lead to partial resetting of the U-Pb system in zircon in order to better constrain the magmatic and impact history of the Moon.

In this thesis, we have therefore analysed impact breccias from three Apollo landing sites Apollo 12, 14, and 17 with the overall aim to gain a better understanding of the lunar impact history. This endeavour included comprehensive textural and petrological analyses of the breccias and grains of interest i. However, there is a possibility that partial Pb loss from older grains during a relatively late event e.

Dubious Radiogenic Pb Places U-Th-Pb Mineral Dating in Doubt

Bomparola, C. Ghezzo, E. Belousova, W. Griffin, Suzanne Y.

sup Pb/.sup U dates, indicating that their discordance is dominated by recent Pb loss due to fast pathway diffusion or volume diffusion. Hence.

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U-Pb zircon geochronology by ID-TIMS: chemical abrasion & dissolution