Integration of Fission-Track Thermochronology with Other Geochronologic Methods on Single Crystals

  • Martin DanišíkEmail author
Part of the Springer Textbooks in Earth Sciences, Geography and Environment book series (STEGE)


Fission-track (FT) thermochronology can be integrated with the U–Pb and (U–Th)/He dating methods. All three radiometric dating methods can be applied to single crystals (hereafter referred to as “triple-dating”), allowing more complete and more precise thermal histories to be constrained from single grains. Such an approach is useful across a myriad of geological applications. Triple-dating has been successfully applied to zircon and apatite. However, other U-bearing minerals such as titanite and monazite, which are routinely dated by single methods, are also candidates for this approach. Several analytical procedures can be used to generate U–Pb—FT—(U–Th)/He age triples on single grains. The procedure introduced here combines FT dating by LA-ICPMS and in situ (U–Th)/He dating approach, whereby the U–Pb age is obtained as a by-product of U–Th analysis by LA-ICPMS. In this case, U–Pb, trace element and REE data can be collected simultaneously and used as annealing kinetics parameter or as provenance and petrogenetic indicators. This novel procedure avoids time-consuming irradiation in a nuclear reactor, reduces multiple sample handling steps and allows high sample throughput (predictably on the order of 100 triple-dated crystals in 2 weeks). These attributes and the increasing number of facilities capable of conducting triple-dating indicate that this approach may become more routine in the near future.



This work was supported by the AuScope NCRIS2 program and Australian Scientific Instruments Pty Ltd. I would like to thank M. G. Malusà and P. G. Fitzgerald for editorial handling and help in conceiving Fig. 5.5, I. Dunkl for introducing me into FT world, N. Evans for training me in U–Th analysis, improvement of the manuscript, provision of apatite U–Pb data and constructive comments, D. Patterson for training me in Helium analysis and troubleshooting, C. Kirkland for stimulating discussions and processing of apatite U–Pb data, B. McDonald for development of RESOchron methods and help with LA-ICPMS analysis, T. Becker for help with AFM work, and C. May and C. Scadding from TSW Analytical for access to the solution ICPMS laboratory. I am grateful for the support of B. McInnes, M. Shelley, B. Godfrey, D. Gibbs, C. Gabay, A. Norris, P. Lanc and M. Hamel throughout the development of the RESOchron instrumentation. Constructive reviews by M. Zattin, B. Carrapa and the editors are acknowledged with thanks.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John de Laeter CentreSchool of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Curtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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