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Such a sophisticated ion probe, which can attain a high sensitivity at a high mass resolution, based on a double focusing high mass-resolution spectrometer, designed by Matsuda , was constructed at the Australian National University. Since its installation, our focus has been on the in-situ U—Pb dating of the mineral apatite, as well as zircon, which is a more common U-bearing mineral. In this paper, we review the methodology associated with in-situ apatite dating and our contribution to Earth and Planetary Science over the past 16 years. Since the monumental studies reported in , 1 an enormous amount of work related to the Pb—Pb dating of meteorites has been reported via the use of TIMS Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry. After this, following cleaning with ethanol, to minimize surface contaminating Pb, the thin section was gold-coated to prevent a charge from developing on the sample surface during SHRIMP analyses. The positive secondary ions were thereby extracted and detected on a single electron multiplier by peak switching. A similar equation also describes the U—Pb secondary ion emission data from other minerals such as monazite, titanite, baddeleyite, rutile.
Chinese Science Bulletin. September , Cite as. Xenotime is an ideal mineral for U-Th-Pb isotopic dating because of its relatively high U and Th contents, but typically low concentration of common Pb. These characteristics, and the fact that it is widespread throughout various types of rocks, suggest that the U-Th-Pb dating of xenotime has broad applications.
However, it is important to remember that all radiometric dating methods are based on three main assumptions:—. The highly speculative nature of all radiometric dating methods becomes apparent when one realizes that none of the above assumptions is either valid or provable. Put simply, none of these assumptions can have been observed to have always been true throughout the supposed millions of years the radioactive elements have presumed to have been decaying. Of the various radiometric methods, uranium-thorium- lead U-Th-Pb was the first used and it is still widely employed today, particularly when zircons are present in the rocks to be dated.