Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
Short communication/technical note
19 Jul 2023
Short communication/technical note |  | 19 Jul 2023

Technical note: In situ U–Th–He dating by 4He ∕ 3He laser microprobe analysis

Pieter Vermeesch, Yuntao Tian, Jae Schwanethal, and Yannick Buret

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Cited articles

Boyce, J. W., Hodges, K. V., Olszewski, W. J., Jercinovic, M. J., Carpenter, B. D., and Reiners, P. W.: Laser microprobe (U-Th)/He geochronology, Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 70, 3031–3039,, 2006. a, b
Boyce, J. W., Hodges, K. V., King, D., Crowley, J. L., Jercinovic, M., Chatterjee, N., Bowring, S. A., and Searle, M.: Improved confidence in (U-Th) / He thermochronology using the laser microprobe: An example from a Pleistocene leucogranite, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan, Geochem. Geophy. Geosy., 10, Q0AA01,, 2009. a
Brennan, C. J., Stockli, D. F., and Patterson, D. B.: Zircon 4He/3He fractional loss step-heating and characterization of parent nuclide distribution, Chem. Geol., 549, 119692,, 2020. a
Colleps, C., van der Beek, P., Denker, A., Amalberti, J., Dittwald, A., Bundesmann, J., and Bernard, M.: Improving the Efficiency of Proton Irradiations for 4He /3He Thermochronology, AGU Fall Meeting 12–16 December 2022, Chicago, IL, USA, 2022AGUFMEP22E1381C, EP22E–1381, 2022. a
Danišík, M., McInnes, B. I., Kirkland, C. L., McDonald, B. J., Evans, N. J., and Becker, T.: Seeing is believing: Visualization of He distribution in zircon and implications for thermal history reconstruction on single crystals, Sci. Adv., 3, e1601121,, 2017. a
Short summary
The U–Th–He method is a technique to determine the cooling history of minerals. Traditional approaches to U–Th–He dating are time-consuming and require handling strong acids and radioactive solutions. This paper presents an alternative approach in which samples are irradiated with protons and subsequently analysed by laser ablation mass spectrometry. Unlike previous in situ U–Th–He dating attempts, the new method does not require any absolute concentration measurements of U, Th, or He.