Special Issue "Recent Developments in Ar/Ar and U-Th-Pb Geochronology and Its Applications"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (22 September 2023) | Viewed by 781

Special Issue Editors

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A2, Canada
Interests: radiometric isotope geochronology; thermochronology; tectonothermal histories of metamorphic terranes; diffusion; microstructural geochronology
Prof. Dr. Ching-Hua Lo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Interests: Ar–Ar geochronology; tectonics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

U-Th/Pb dating and 40Ar/39Ar (Ar/Ar) dating are often the geochronological techniques of choice in many geological studies.  U-Th/Pb dating can produce ages with extreme precision and has the added benefit of providing "two clocks in one", resulting from the different decay constants for 238U and 235U.  Moreover, because U and Th are commonly found in highly refractory accessory minerals such as zircon and monazite, U-Th/Pb crystallization ages can often be retained even through subsequent periods of reheating, deformation, and metamorphism.  Ar/Ar dating finds its main strength in the thermochronological applications.  Many common rock-forming minerals contain potassium and are therefore datable using the Ar/Ar method.  However, because Ar is a noble gas, it is much more sensitive to geological events in which host rock temperatures are elevated, either during or after crystallization.  Consequently, Ar isotopes in different minerals can often record the thermal history and evolution of rocks.

Over the last 40–50 years, significant advances have been made in the measurement, analysis, and applications of U-Th/Pb and Ar isotopes through improvements in imaging, data analysis, mass-spectrometer technology, and the micro/nanoanalysis of minerals.  This Special Issue invites submissions in the fields of U-Th/Pb and Ar/Ar geochronology which highlight any of these improvements and advances.  Studies may be conducted in any field of geology (e.g. petrology, economic geology, structural geology, tectonics) and may be multidisciplinary in scope. Studies that feature novel applications or new methodologies are also particularly encouraged. 

Prof. Dr. Jim Lee
Prof. Dr. Ching-Hua Lo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • 40Ar/39Ar (Ar/Ar) geochronology
  • U-Th/Pb geochronology
  • age dating
  • analytical techniques
  • recent advances
  • nano- and microanalysis

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Dating Amber: Review and Perspective
Minerals 2023, 13(7), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13070948 - 15 Jul 2023
Viewed by 607
Amber is a fossilized tree resin that ranges in age from the Carboniferous to the Cenozoic. It occurs globally from the Arctic to Antarctica. As the resin petrifies and turns into amber, it can enclose and preserve other materials. Amber with inclusions can [...] Read more.
Amber is a fossilized tree resin that ranges in age from the Carboniferous to the Cenozoic. It occurs globally from the Arctic to Antarctica. As the resin petrifies and turns into amber, it can enclose and preserve other materials. Amber with inclusions can help reconstruct past biodiversity and ecosystems. Some amber contains fossils representing the oldest and most detailed records of critical evolutionary traits or markers. Inclusions can even capture behavioral indicators previously only observed in extant organisms. Evidence of insect pollination of flowering plants and dragonfly mating behavior appears in amber, as does the morphological specialization of insects, indicating sociality and social parasitism. Dating amber deposits can help calibrate evolutionary events and inform reconstructions of past ecosystems. While the direct dating of amber remains impossible, age constraints on most amber deposits are based on correlations or relative dating, methods that come with significant uncertainties. This study discusses two cases using 40Ar/39Ar and U–Pb geochronologic methods to constrain the ages of amber deposits in China and the paleo-ecosystems they record. This paper also summarizes how radio-isotopic dating and other techniques combined with the analysis of inclusions in amber can help elucidate biogeography and the dynamic relationship between life and the physical environment. Full article
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