Abstract

(U-Th)/He dating of late-stage authigenic goethite, combined with corrections for diffusive loss of 4He by the 4He/3He methodology, reveals strong correlation between a sample's age and its depth in ferruginized channel sediments from the Yandicoogina deposit, Western Australia. Corrected ages, ranging from ca. 18 Ma near the surface to ca. 5 Ma at the bottom of the profile, indicate that ferruginization of the aggraded channels becomes progressively younger with depth. This trend is consistent with goethite precipitation at the groundwater-atmosphere interface during water table drawdown driven by the aridification of Western Australia during the Neogene. The results demonstrate that the (U-Th)/He system is ideal for dating goethite if diffusive loss corrections are applied. The approach is suitable for dating weathering reactions on Earth and should also be suitable for dating Fe oxyhydroxides in the Martian regolith.

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