Petrology and geochronology of ‘muscovite age standard’ B4M
Alexandra R. Heri, Martin Robyr, Igor M. Villa, 2014. "Petrology and geochronology of ‘muscovite age standard’ B4M", Advances in 40Ar/39Ar Dating: From Archaeology to Planetary Sciences, F. Jourdan, D. F. Mark, C. Verati
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Muscovite B4M, distributed in 1961 as an age standard, was ground under ethanol. Five grain size fractions were obtained and characterized by X-ray diffraction. They display a mixing trend between a phengitic (enriched in the fraction <0.2 µm) and a muscovitic component (predominant in the fraction >20 µm). High-pressure phengite is preserved as a relict in retrograde muscovite. Electron microprobe analyses of the distributed mineral separate reveal at least four white mica populations based on Si, Al, Mg, Na, Fe and F. Rb/K ratios vary by one order of magnitude. Rb–Sr analyses link the mineralogical heterogeneity to variable Rb/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr ratios. The grain size fractions define no internal isochron. Relict fine-grained phengite gives older ages than coarse-grained retrograde greenschist facies muscovite. The inverse grain size–age relationship also characterizes 39Ar/40Ar analyses. Cl/K anticorrelates with step ages: Cl-rich coarse muscovite is younger than Cl-poor fine relict phengite. Sr and Ar preserve a similar isotopic inheritance despite peak metamorphism reaching 635±20 °C. A suitable mineral standard requires that its petrological equilibrium first be demonstrated. Relicts and retrograde reaction textures are a guarantee of isotopic disequilibrium and heterogeneous ages within single crystal at the micrometre scale.
Electron microprobe results on two grain mounts of the unprocessed B4M separate as distributed and on a whole-rock thin section of Brione gneiss from the teaching collection of the Universität Bern are available at: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18590.
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Advances in 40Ar/39Ar Dating: From Archaeology to Planetary Sciences
Decoding the complete history of Earth and our solar system requires the placing of the scattered pages of Earth history in a precise chronological order, and the 40Ar/39Ar dating technique is one of the most trusted dating techniques to do that. The 40Ar/39Ar method has been in use for more than 40 years, and has constantly evolved since then. The steady improvement of the technique is largely due to a better understanding of the K/Ar system, an appreciation of the subtleties of geological material and a continuous refinement of the analytical tools used for isotope extraction and counting. The 40Ar/39Ar method is also one of the most versatile techniques with countless applications in archaeology, tectonics, structural geology, orogenic processes and provenance studies, ore and petroleum genesis, volcanology, weathering processes and climate, and planetary geology. This volume is the first of its kind and covers methodological developments, modelling, data handling, and direct applications of the 40Ar/39Ar technique.