Identification and elimination of a matrix-induced systematic error in LA–ICP–MS 206Pb/238U dating of zircon

Allen, Charlotte M. & Campbell, Ian H. (2012) Identification and elimination of a matrix-induced systematic error in LA–ICP–MS 206Pb/238U dating of zircon. Chemical Geology, 332-333, pp. 157-165.

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Black et al. (2004) identified a systematic difference between LA–ICP–MS and TIMS measurements of 206Pb/238U in zircons, which they correlated with the incompatible trace element content of the zircon. We show that the offset between the LA–ICP–MS and TIMS measured 206Pb/238U correlates more strongly with the total radiogenic Pb than with any incompatible trace element. This suggests that the cause of the 206Pb/238U offset is related to differences in the radiation damage (alpha dose) between the reference and unknowns. We test this hypothesis in two ways. First, we show that there is a strong correlation between the difference in the LA–ICP–MS and TIMS measured 206Pb/238U and the difference in the alpha dose received by unknown and reference zircons. The LA–ICP–MS ages for the zircons we have dated can be as much as 5.1% younger than their TIMS age to 2.1% older, depending on whether the unknown or reference received the higher alpha dose. Second, we show that by annealing both reference and unknown zircons at 850 °C for 48 h in air we can eliminate the alpha-dose-induced differences in measured 206Pb/238U. This was achieved by analyzing six reference zircons a minimum of 16 times in two round robin experiments: the first consisting of unannealed zircons and the second of annealed grains. The maximum offset between the LA–ICP–MS and TIMS measured 206Pb/238U for the unannealed zircons was 2.3%, which reduced to 0.5% for the annealed grains, as predicted by within-session precision based on counting statistics. Annealing unknown zircons and references to the same state prior to analysis holds the promise of reducing the 3% external error for the measurement of 206Pb/238U of zircon by LA–ICP–MS, indicated by Klötzli et al. (2009), to better than 1%, but more analyses of annealed zircons by other laboratories are required to evaluate the true potential of the annealing method.

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ID Code: 66028
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: LA-ICP-MS, U-Pb geochronology, accuracy, zircon
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.09.038
ISSN: 0009-2541
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY (030100) > Analytical Spectrometry (030101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOLOGY (040300) > Geochronology (040303)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Deposited On: 13 Jan 2014 22:31
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2014 00:30

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