2. Detrital Zircon U-Pb Geochronology: Current Methods and New Opportunities

  1. Cathy Busby2 and
  2. Antonio Azor3
  1. George Gehrels

Published Online: 30 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444347166.ch2

Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances

Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances

How to Cite

Gehrels, G. (2011) Detrital Zircon U-Pb Geochronology: Current Methods and New Opportunities, in Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances (eds C. Busby and A. Azor), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444347166.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Earth Science, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106, USA

  2. 3

    Departamento de Geodinámica, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain

Author Information

  1. Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: 30 DEC 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405194655

Online ISBN: 9781444347166

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Keywords:

  • zircon;
  • geochronology;
  • detrital;
  • provenance;
  • analytical methods

Summary

Detrital zircon geochronology is rapidly evolving into a very powerful tool for determining the provenance and maximum depositional age of clastic strata. This rapid evolution is being driven by the increased availability of ion probes and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometers, which are able to generate ages efficiently and with sufficient accuracy for most applications. Although large numbers of detrital zircon ages are generated each year, significant uncertainties remain in how data are acquired, which ages are used, how data are plotted, and how age distributions are compared. Improvements in current methods may come from enhanced precision/ accuracy of age determinations, better tools for extracting critical information from age spectra, abilities to determine other types of information (e.g., Hf, O, Li isotope signatures, rare earth element (REE) patterns, cooling ages, structural information) from the dated grains, and availability of a database that provides access to detrital zircon age determinations from sedimentary sequences around the world.