Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

High-precision ID-TIMS U-Pb geochronology of perovskite (CaTiO3) from the Ice River Complex, southeastern British Columbia

October 25, 2022

Uranium‑lead perovskite in situ geochronology has become a cornerstone technique for determining the emplacement timing of alkaline, ultrapotassic, and silica-undersaturated igneous rocks, kimberlites, and carbonatites. Accurate in situ dates are dependent on the availability of matrix matched mineral reference materials which themselves are chemically well characterized and dated accurately to the highest possible precision. When dating perovskite to high precision, such as by isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS), appropriately accounting and correcting for the quantity and isotopic composition of Pb incorporated into the crystal upon crystallization (Pbi) is a large source of uncertainty and potential inaccuracy. Unfortunately, although ultra-high precision perovskite dates are attainable with modern mass spectrometry techniques, the accuracy of applied Pbi compositions, which can be a considerable percentage of total Pb in a crystal, has not kept pace, resulting in percent level inaccuracy on precisely measured isotopic ratios.

In an effort to characterize the age and initial Pb isotopic composition of a readily available, relatively pure perovskite endmember (93–98%) which will be useful as a matrix matched age reference material for in situ U-Pb geochronology, we date crystals isolated from three samples from the Ice River Complex (samples 81IR6, I90.3, and I92.30) by ID-TIMS and evaluate their suitability as known-age reference materials. We directly determine the isotopic composition of Pbi in each sample by ID-TIMS measurement of cogenetic low 238U/204Pb (μ < 500) phlogopite, apatite, and/or clinopyroxene. Using these initial common Pb isotopic compositions, which are significantly more radiogenic than those predicted by age appropriate Pb evolution models, we obtain ultra-precise weighted-mean 206Pb/238U perovskite dates of 355.83 ± 0.14, 355.04 ± 0.15, and 357.34 ± 0.12 Ma on the three Ice River samples, respectively. These dates are consistent with the relative emplacement ages previously established for units in the Ice River layered ultramafic series based on field relationships. They also demonstrate the feasibility of attaining accurate perovskite dates in instances when maximum precision is critical by utilizing ID-TIMS analysis of cogenetic low uranium phases for direct measurement of Pbi.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2023
Title High-precision ID-TIMS U-Pb geochronology of perovskite (CaTiO3) from the Ice River Complex, southeastern British Columbia
DOI 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2022.121187
Authors Seth D. Burgess, Larry M Heaman, Samuel A. Bowring
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Chemical Geology
Index ID 70239754
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center