Plešovice zircon : a new natural reference material for U-Pb and Hf isotopic microanalysis

Slama, Jiri; Kosler, Jan; Condon, Daniel J.; Crowley, James L.; Gerdes, Axel; Hanchar, John M.; Horstwood, Matthew S.A.; Morris, George A.; Nasdala, Lutz; Norberg, Nicholas; Schaltegger, Urs; Schoene, Blair; Tubrett, Michael N.; Whitehouse, Martin J.. 2008 Plešovice zircon : a new natural reference material for U-Pb and Hf isotopic microanalysis. Chemical Geology, 249 (1-2). 1-35.

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Matrix-matched calibration by natural zircon reference materials and analysis of natural materials as a reference are the principle methods for achieving accurate results in microbeam U-Pb dating and Hf isotopic analysis. We describe a new potential zircon reference material for laser ablation ICP-MS that was extracted from a potassic granulite facies rock collected in the southern part of the Bohemian Massif (Plešovice, Czech Republic). Data from different techniques (ID-TIMS, SIMS and LA ICP-MS) and several laboratories suggest it has a concordant U-Pb date with a weighted mean 206Pb/238U date of 337.33 ± 0.38 Ma (ID-TIMS, 95% confidence limits, including tracer calibration uncertainty) and U-Pb age homogeneity on the scale used in LA ICP-MS dating. Inhomogeneities in trace element composition due to primary growth zoning prevent its use as a calibration reference material for trace element analysis. The content of U varies from 465 ppm in pristine parts of the grains to ~3000 ppm in actinide-rich sectors that correspond to pyramidal faces with a high degree of metamictization (present in ca. 30% of the grains). These domains are easily recognized from high intensities on BSE images and should be avoided during the analysis. Hf isotopic composition of the Plešovice zircon (>0.9 wt% Hf) is homogenous within and between the grains with a mean 176Hf/177Hf value of 0.282482 ± 0.000013 (2 SD). The age and Hf isotopic homogeneity of the Plešovice zircon together with its relatively high U and Pb contents makes it an ideal calibration and reference material for laser ablation ICP-MS measurements, especially when using low laser energies and/or small diameters of laser beam required for improved spatial resolution.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes > NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
ISSN: 0009-3541
Additional Keywords: Zircon reference material, Laser ablation ICP-MS, Plešovice, U-Pb dating, Hf isotopes, Potassic granulite
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 29 Jan 2008 09:52 +0 (UTC)

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