Application of Radiogenic Isotope Systems to the Timing and Origin of Hydrothermal Processes
Jeremy P. Richards, Stephen R. Noble, 1998. "Application of Radiogenic Isotope Systems to the Timing and Origin of Hydrothermal Processes", Techniques in Hydrothermal Ore Deposits Geology, Jeremy P. Richards, Peter B. Larson
Download citation file:
The potential use of radiogenic isotopes in the study of geological problems was recognized at an early stage in the investigation of nuclear science. At the turn of the century, F. Soddy and E. Rutherford first proposed the law of radioactive decay, and in 1905, Rutherford obtained the first age estimates of uraniferous minerals by measuring their helium content. The first U-Pb chemical dates for uraninites were published two years later byB.B. Boltwood (1907). F.W. Aston's development of the mass spectrometer shortly after the end of World War I led to the confirmation that many elements consist of isotopes having different atomic mass (Aston, But it was A.O. Nier's refinements of mass spectrometer design during and after World War II that provided the technological breakthrough required for routine geochronological measurements (Nier, 1940). Subsequent instrumental developments have principally involved improvements in precision and sensitivity, with the current generation of thermal ionization multi-collector mass spectrometers (TIMS) offering rapid simultaneous measurement of several isotopes from nanogram-sized samples.