The mechanisms of Ar release from K-feldspar samples in laboratory experiments and during their geological history are assessed here. Modern petrology clearly established that the chemical and isotopic record of minerals is normally dominated by aqueous recrystallization. The laboratory critique is trickier, which explains why so many conflicting approaches have been able to survive long past their expiration date. Current models are evaluated for self-consistency, especially Arrhenian non-linearity which leads to paradoxes. The models’ testable geological predictions suggest that temperature-based downslope extrapolations often overestimate observed geological Ar mobility substantially. An updated interpretation is based on the unrelatedness of geological behaviour to laboratory experiments. The isotopic record of K-feldspar in geological samples is not a unique function of temperature, as recrystallization promoted by aqueous fluids is the predominant mechanism controlling isotope transport. K-feldspar should therefore be viewed as a hygrochronometer. Laboratory degassing proceeds from structural rearrangements and phase transitions such as are observed in situ at high temperature in Na and Pb feldspars. These effects violate the mathematics of an inert Fick's Law matrix and preclude downslope extrapolation. The similar upward-concave non-linear shapes of Arrhenius trajectories of many silicates, hydrous and anhydrous, are likely common manifestations of structural rearrangements in silicate structures.
Figures & Tables
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.