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Novel calibration for LA-ICP-MS-based fission-track thermochronology

Journal article
Authors CJ Soares
S Guedes
JC Hadler
R Mertz-Kraus
Thomas Zack
PJ Iunes
Published in Physics and chemistry of minerals
Volume 41
Issue 1
Pages 65-73
ISSN 0342-1791
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 65-73
Language en
Keywords Fission-track thermochronology, LA-ICP-MS, Uranium reference material, Projected fission-track length
Subject categories Analytical Chemistry, Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Geochemistry


We present a novel age-equation calibration for fission-track age determinations by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. This new calibration incorporates the efficiency factor of an internal surface, [ηq]is, which is obtained by measuring the projected fission-track length, allowing the determination of FT ages directly using the recommended spontaneous fission decay constant. Also, the uranium concentrations in apatite samples are determined using a Durango (Dur-2, 7.44 μg/g U) crystal and a Mud Tank (MT-7, 6.88 μg/g U) crystal as uranium reference materials. The use of matrix-matched reference materials allows a reduction in the uncertainty of the uranium measurements to those related to counting statistics, which are ca. 1 % taking into account that no extra source of uncertainty has to be considered. The equations as well as the matrix-matched reference materials are evaluated using well-dated samples from Durango, Fish Canyon Tuff, and Limberg as unknown samples. The results compare well with their respective published ages determined through other dating methods. Additionally, the results agree with traditional fission-track ages using both the zeta approach and the absolute approach, suggesting that the calibration presented in this work can be robustly applied in geological context. Furthermore, considering that fission-track ages can be determined without an age standard sample, the fission-track thermochronology approach presented here is assumed to be a valuable dating tool.

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