Excimer laser technologies enable a rapid and effective approach to simultaneous U/Pb geochronology and (U-Th)/He thermochronology of a wide range of detrital accessory minerals. Here we describe the 'laser ablation double dating' (LADD) method and demonstrate its viability by applying it to zircon and titanite crystals from the well-characterized Fish Canyon tuff. We found that LADD dates for Fish Canyon zircon (206Pb/238U - 28.63 ± 0.11 Ma; (U-Th)/He - 28.38 ± 0.73 Ma) are statistically indistinguishable from those obtained through established, traditional methods of single-crystal dating. The same is true for Fish Canyon titanite LADD dates: 206Pb/238U - 28.08 ± 0.90 Ma; (U-Th)/He - 27.98 ± 0.86 Ma. As anticipated, given that LADD involves the analysis of smaller amounts of material than traditional methods, it yields dates with higher analytical uncertainty. However, this does not substantially reduce the utility of the results for most applications to detrital datasets. An important characteristic of LADD is that it encourages the chemical characterization of crystals by backscattered electron, cathodoluminescence, and/or Raman mapping prior to dating. In addition, by permitting the rapid and robust dating of crystals regardless of the degree of their abrasion during sedimentary transport, the method theoretically should yield dates that are more broadly representative of those of the entire population of detrital crystals in a natural sample.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology