Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
Research article
30 Jun 2020
Research article |  | 30 Jun 2020

Evaluating the reliability of U–Pb laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) carbonate geochronology: matrix issues and a potential calcite validation reference material

Marcel Guillong, Jörn-Frederik Wotzlaw, Nathan Looser, and Oscar Laurent

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Cited articles

Beaudoin, N., Lacombe, O., Roberts, N. M. W., and Koehn, D.: U-Pb dating of calcite veins reveals complex stress evolution and thrust sequence in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, USA, Geology, 46, 1015–1018, 10.1130/g45379.1, 2018. 
Burisch, M., Gerdes, A., Walter, B. F., Neumann, U., Fettel, M., and Markl, G.: Methane and the origin of five-element veins: Mineralogy, age, fluid inclusion chemistry and ore forming processes in the Odenwald, SW Germany, Ore Geol. Rev., 81, 42–61,, 2017. 
Burisch, M., Walter, B. F., Gerdes, A., Lanz, M., and Markl, G.: Late-stage anhydrite-gypsum-siderite-dolomite-calcite assemblages record the transition from a deep to a shallow hydrothermal system in the Schwarzwald mining district, SW Germany, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 223, 259–278,, 2018. 
Coogan, L. A., Parrish, R. R., and Roberts, N. M. W.: Early hydrothermal carbon uptake by the upper oceanic crust: Insight from in situ U-Pb dating, Geology, 44, 147–150,, 2016. 
Drake, H., Heim, C., Roberts, N. M. W., Zack, T., Tillberg, M., Broman, C., Ivarsson, M., Whitehouse, M. J., and Astrom, M. E.: Isotopic evidence for microbial production and consumption of methane in the upper continental crust throughout the Phanerozoic eon, Earth Planet. Sc. Lett., 470, 108–118,, 2017. 
Short summary
The dating of carbonates by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry is improved by an additional, newly characterised reference material and adapted data evaluation protocols: the shape (diameter to depth) of the ablation crater has to be as similar as possible in the reference material used and the unknown samples to avoid an offset. Different carbonates have different ablation rates per laser pulse. With robust uncertainty propagation, precision can be as good as 2–3 %.