40Ar/39Ar age constraints on the Haifanggou and Lanqi formations: When did the first flowers bloom?
Su-Chin Chang, Haichun Zhang, Sidney R. Hemming, Gary T. Mesko, Yan Fang, 2014. "40Ar/39Ar age constraints on the Haifanggou and Lanqi formations: When did the first flowers bloom?", Advances in 40Ar/39Ar Dating: From Archaeology to Planetary Sciences, F. Jourdan, D. F. Mark, C. Verati
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Well-preserved Mesozoic terrestrial fossils were discovered in the Haifanggou Formation and the overlying Lanqi Formation (or their correlative strata) in NE China. The recent discoveries of Schmeissneria sinensis and Xingxueanthus sinensis from the middle and upper Jurassic Haifanggou Formation provide evidence that the origin of angiosperms could be predate the Early Cretaceous. In addition to the finding of pre-Cretaceous angiosperms from the Haifanggou Formation, the overlying Lanqi Formation yields a rich and varied terrestrial flora. The high diversity and abundance of the palaeoflora from these formations provide a unique window to understand floral evolution and its diversification in the Mesozoic. Two tuff samples and one andesite sample collected from the Haifanggou and Lanqi formations near Beipiao City, Liaoning, NE China yield robust 40Ar/39Ar age results. Our 40Ar/39Ar age of 166.7 ± 1.0 Ma for plagioclases from one tuff interbedded in the fossiliferous horizons of the middle Haifanggou Formation provides accurate age calibration for the pre-Cretaceous angiosperms for the first time. Moreover, our age results for these fossil-bearing formations will improve our knowledge of the Jurassic environment in general, including the link between plants and atmospheric CO2.
Details of analysis procedures, Ar isotopic data corrected for blanks, mass discrimination, radioactive decay and J values are available at: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18575.
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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.