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Metrology and traceability of U-Pb isotope dilution geochronology (EARTHTIME Tracer Calibration Part I)

Condon, D.J.; Schoene, B.; McLean, N.M.; Bowring, S.A.; Parrish, R.R.. 2015 Metrology and traceability of U-Pb isotope dilution geochronology (EARTHTIME Tracer Calibration Part I). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 164. 464-480. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2015.05.026

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Abstract/Summary

Mixed 235U-233U-205Pb(-202Pb) tracers for 12 U-Pb isotope-dilution isotope ratio mass spectrometry have been prepared under the auspices of the EARTHTIME Initiative. The methods and results for the preparation and calibration of the U/Pb ratio and isotopic abundances are given, and the various sources of uncertainty are discussed and quantified. The accuracy of the EARTHTIME U-Pb tracer isotopic composition can be traced back to SI units via a series of assay and isotopic composition reference materials combined with the experiments described herein. The parameters used in calculating U/Pb ratios (and inferentially U-Pb dates) have correlated uncertainties that result in a total uncertainty contribution to 206Pb/23820 U dates of ±<0.03% (95% confidence). For suitable terrestrial materials such as zircon, when other sources of uncertainty have been minimised (e.g., opensystem behaviour, 238U/23522 U variation, intermediate daughter product disequilibrium, common Pb, etc.) the U-Pb tracer calibration uncertainty is a limiting factor in the accuracy of U-Pb geochronology – but less so than the uncertainty in the 238U and 235U decay constants (±0.11 and 0.14% 2σ). The calibration approach of the mixed EARTHTIME 235U-23325 U-205Pb(-202Pb) tracers, in addition to updated values for reference materials (e.g., mixed gravimetric reference solutions), and parameters (e.g., Pb reference material assay), can be applied to other laboratory-specific U-Pb tracers and will facilitate the generation of accurate and directly inter-comparable U-Pb data.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2015.05.026
ISSN: 0016-7037
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Physics
Chemistry
Date made live: 13 Aug 2015 09:59 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/510812

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