LA-ICP-MS Geochronology: From Petrology to Provenance and Sedimentation

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Geochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 February 2020)

Special Issue Editors

Laboratory for Geochronology, Department of Lithospheric Research, University of Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Interests: geochronology sensu lato; petrochronology sensu lato; petrochronology of accessory minerals; in-situ U-Th-Pb dating; geology of the Alps; geology of the Ivrea Verbano zone; geology of Thailand

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Geosciences is focused on LA-ICP-MS U-Th-Pb geochronology. This technique allows for the dating of micro-volumes of U- and Th-bearing minerals (i.e., zircon, monazite, xenotime, allanite, apatite, rutile, titanite, baddeleyite, and also calcite), which are common in metamorphic, magmatic, and sedimentary rocks. The minerals are usually analyzed as separates or directly in thin sections, thus, preserving the textural information of the obtained isotopic ratios.

LA-ICP-MS is widely used for dating metamorphic reactions and P-T segments, as well as magmatic events, and usually the in situ geochronological data are combined with chemical (major and trace elements), isotopic (e.g., O and Hf isotopes of zircon) and microstructural (EBSD) data.

The aim of this Special Issue is to gather new applications and review articles applying in situ U-Th-Pb dating by LA-ICP-MS dealing with basement geology, magmatic petrology and sedimentary studies.

Prof. Urs Klötzli
Dr. Antonio Langone
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • LA-ICP-MS dating
  • Geochronology
  • Accessory minerals
  • P-T-t reconstructions
  • Magmatic evolution
  • Tectonics
  • Deformation
  • Mechanisms
  • Sedimentary provenance

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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31 pages, 7482 KiB  
Article
Mantle-Derived Corundum-Bearing Felsic Dykes May Survive Only within the Lower (Refractory/Inert) Crust: Evidence from Zircon Geochemistry and Geochronology (Ivrea–Verbano Zone, Southern Alps, Italy)
Geosciences 2020, 10(8), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080281 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3542
Abstract
Corundum-rich (up to 55 vol.%) felsic dykes formed with albite, ±K-feldspar, ±hercynite and ±biotite-siderophyllite cut the lower crustal rocks exposed in the Ivrea–Verbano Zone (NW Italy). Zircon is an abundant accessory mineral and its investigation through laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma (multi-collector)-mass spectrometer (LA-ICP-(MC)MS) [...] Read more.
Corundum-rich (up to 55 vol.%) felsic dykes formed with albite, ±K-feldspar, ±hercynite and ±biotite-siderophyllite cut the lower crustal rocks exposed in the Ivrea–Verbano Zone (NW Italy). Zircon is an abundant accessory mineral and its investigation through laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma (multi-collector)-mass spectrometer (LA-ICP-(MC)MS) has allowed results to directly constrain the timing of emplacement, as well as petrology and geochemistry of parental melts. Zircons are characterized by very large concentration in rare earth elements (REE), Th, U, Nb and Ta, and negative Eu anomaly. U–Pb analysis points to Norian emplacement ages (223 ± 7 Ma and 224 ± 6 Ma), whereas large positive εHf(t) values (+13 on average) indicate a derivation from depleted to mildly enriched mantle source. The mantle signature and the corundum oversaturation were preserved thanks to limited crustal contamination of the host, high-temperature refractory granulites and mafic intrusives. According to the geochemical data and to the evidence of the development of violent explosions into the conduits, it is proposed that dykes segregated from peraluminous melts produced by exsolution processes affecting volatile-rich differentiates during alkaline magmatism. This work provides robust evidence about the transition of the geochemical affinity of Southern Alps magmatism from orogenic-like to anorogenic during Norian time, linked to a regional uprising of the asthenosphere and change of tectonic regime. Full article
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21 pages, 3478 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Five Monazite Reference Materials for U-Th/Pb Dating Using Laser-Ablation ICP-MS
Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090391 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5455
Abstract
Monazite is a common accessory phosphate mineral that occurs under a wide range of pressure and temperature conditions in sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. Monazite contains high amounts of Th and U, rendering single monazite grains suitable for in-situ U-Th/Pb dating using laser [...] Read more.
Monazite is a common accessory phosphate mineral that occurs under a wide range of pressure and temperature conditions in sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. Monazite contains high amounts of Th and U, rendering single monazite grains suitable for in-situ U-Th/Pb dating using laser ablation inductively-coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Two key aspects of monazite dating that are critical for accurate age data with maximum precision are (i) optimized instrumental conditions to minimize analytical scatter and (ii) a well characterized reference material to ensure the accuracy of the obtained aged. Here, we analyzed five monazite reference materials (USGS 44069, 94-222, MAdel, Moacir and Thompson Mine Monazite) for their U-Th/Pb ages using LA-ICP-MS technique and applied a variety of laser spot diameters and repetition rates to find the best operational conditions to achieve accurate age data while maintaining maximum precision. We find that a spot diameter of 10 µm and a repetition rate of 10 Hz yield the most precise ages with a deviation of ±2.0% from their respective high-precision U/Pb literature age data. Ages were reproduced in three different LA-ICP-MS laboratories using these parameters. Each reference material was tested for its suitability as a matrix-matched age reference material. For this, a rotating, iterative approach was adopted in which one reference monazite was used as calibration reference material against all others, which were treated as unknowns. The results reveal that USGS 44069, 94-222, Thompson Mine Monazite and MAdel all agree with their respective calculated ages and ID-TIMS reference ages and thus are suggested as suitable calibration reference materials. Moacir, however, appears slightly older than previously suggested (up to 4%), thus, caution is advised here when using Moacir as reference material for U-Th/Pb LA-ICP-MS dating in the absence of further absolute age calibration. Full article
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Review

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29 pages, 4581 KiB  
Review
Coupled Zircon-Rutile U-Pb Chronology: LA ICP-MS Dating, Geological Significance and Applications to Sediment Provenance in the Eastern Himalayan-Indo-Burman Region
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110467 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5886
Abstract
U-Pb dating by LA ICP-MS is one of the most popular and successful isotopic techniques available to the Earth Sciences to constrain timing and rates of geological processes thanks to its high spatial resolution, good precision (absolute U/Pb age resolution of ca. 2%, [...] Read more.
U-Pb dating by LA ICP-MS is one of the most popular and successful isotopic techniques available to the Earth Sciences to constrain timing and rates of geological processes thanks to its high spatial resolution, good precision (absolute U/Pb age resolution of ca. 2%, 2s), rapidity and relative affordability. The significant and continuous improvement of instrumentation and approaches has opened new fields of applications by extending the range of minerals that can be dated by this method. Following the development and distribution to the community of good quality reference materials in the last decade, rutile U-Pb thermochronology (with a precision only slightly worse than zircon) has become a commonly used method to track cooling of deep-seated rocks. Its sensitivity to mid- to low-crustal temperatures (~450 °C to 650 °C) is ideal to constrain exhumation in active and ancient orogens as well as thermal evolution of slow-cooled terranes. Recrystallization and secondary growth during metamorphism and the presence of grain boundary fluids can also affect the U-Pb isotopic system in rutile. A growing body of research focusing on U-Pb dating of rutile by LA ICP-MS is greatly improving our understanding of the behavior of this mineral with regards to retention of radiogenic Pb. This is key to fully exploit its potential as a tracker of geological processes. The latest developments in this field are reviewed in this contribution. The combined application of U-Pb zircon and rutile chronology in provenance studies, particularly when complemented by lower-T thermochronometry data, allows the isotopic characterization of the sources across a wide range of temperatures. The benefits of applying detrital zircon-rutile U-Pb chronology as a coupled provenance proxy are presented here, with a focus on the Eastern Himalayan-Indo-Burman region, where a growing number of successful studies employs such an approach to help constrain river drainage and basin evolution and to infer feedback relationships between erosion, tectonics and climate. Full article
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