|Dating in the Twenty-First Century: Avoiding some of the Pitfalls||
The rapid global expansion of instrumentation capable of providing high-quality isotopic ages has led to an exponential number of papers in the geological literature quoting these results and interpreting their geological significance. However, besides the inherent uncertainties associated with understanding the limitations of the methods, calibration of standards, and data processing, macro- and nano-scale element variations have been identified in a number of the key minerals used widely in geochronology. Redistribution of lead and other elements has recently been reported in zircon and monazite, with the potential to record spurious ‘ages’. Decoupling of parent and daughter isotopes can also lead to aberrant ages in molybdenite. This is an increasing danger, as there is a drive to analyse ever smaller volumes of a crystal. We encourage contributions that address the issue of element mobility in all minerals capable of being used as geochronometers. New insights into element mobility during metamictisation, deformation, and/or recrystallization - and the role of water - are encouraged.
|Simon Wilde and Holly Stein|