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deJong_Numerical Modeling of Apparent Argon Loss Age Spectra Archean Hornblende_Geological Journal 2009

deJong_Numerical Modeling of Apparent Argon Loss Age Spectra Archean Hornblende_Geological Journal 2009

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Published by Koen de Jong
Comparison of apparent loss age spectra for hornblende with the results given by a number of numerical modeling tools based on diffusion theory and that assume thermally activated loss of radiogenic 40Ar by solid-state volume diffusion implies that so-called lower retentive hornblende lattice sites in such models are an artifact related to inclusions of much younger biotite in natural hornblende that degas earlier than the host amphibole. This is at odds with the classical interpretion of staircase-type age spectra as pointing to partial resetting by thermally activated loss by volume diffusion from lower retentive sites during younger thermo-tectonic reworking or slow cooling. The successful modeling scenario of reheating to 450 ± 25 ℃ of Archean hornblende in Palaeoproterozoic time, leading to argon losses of 40–50%, seems geologically unrealistic.
Comparison of apparent loss age spectra for hornblende with the results given by a number of numerical modeling tools based on diffusion theory and that assume thermally activated loss of radiogenic 40Ar by solid-state volume diffusion implies that so-called lower retentive hornblende lattice sites in such models are an artifact related to inclusions of much younger biotite in natural hornblende that degas earlier than the host amphibole. This is at odds with the classical interpretion of staircase-type age spectra as pointing to partial resetting by thermally activated loss by volume diffusion from lower retentive sites during younger thermo-tectonic reworking or slow cooling. The successful modeling scenario of reheating to 450 ± 25 ℃ of Archean hornblende in Palaeoproterozoic time, leading to argon losses of 40–50%, seems geologically unrealistic.

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Published by: Koen de Jong on May 21, 2011
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02/08/2014

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Geosciences Journal 
Vol. 13, No. 3, p. 317
329, September 2009DOI 10.1007/s12303-009-0030-4
The Association of Korean Geoscience Societies
 
and Springer 2009
Apparent partial loss
40
Ar/
39
Ar age spectra of hornblende from the Palaeopro-terozoic Lapland-Kola orogen (arctic European Russia): insights fromnumerical modelling and multi-method in-situ micro-sampling geochronology
ABSTRACT:
4
Ar/ 
3
Ar age spectra with progressively increasingstep ages are well known for metamorphic hornblende and havebeen classically interpreted by partial loss of radiogenic argon bydiffusion processes during younger thermo-tectonic reworking.Application of a number of numerical modelling tools based ondiffusion theory and that assume thermally activated loss of radio-genic
4
Ar by solid-state volume diffusion suggests that staircase-shaped age spectra of Neoarchaean tschermakitic hornblende fromthe Lapland-Kola Orogen
 
are due to argon losses of 40–50% dur-ing reheating to 450±25
C in Palaeoproterozoic time. However, inhornblende samples that yielded staircase-type age spectra, biotiteoccurs in the matrix, as well as intimately and abundantly inter-grown with the amphibole along grain boundaries, cleavages, frac-tures and other defects. Drilling of 1.5 mm diameter discs fromcarefully selected hornblende grains in petrographic thin sectionspermitted to minimise the effects of contaminant biotite inclusionsand/or compositional zoning of the amphibole.
4
Ar/ 
3
Ar laser probestep-heating of drilled biotite-free hornblende discs yielded flat agespectra, suggesting absence of thermally activated radiogenic
4
Arloss. This would imply unrealistically contrasting temperature his-tories for neighbouring grains. Apparent-loss age spectra, thus,result from differential gas release of hornblende and an included,earlier degassing minor contamination of much younger biotite, which had apparently not been completely eliminated from theamphibole separate, despite careful handpicking. This is confirmedby the Ca/K ratio spectra
a proxy for
3
Ar
Ca
3
Ar
 
of hornblendethat are flat for drilled biotite-free hornblende grains, but initiallylow for hornblende separates. A drilled disc and a separate of horn-blende from a biotite-free amphibolite did not yield apparent lossspectra, but flat age and Ca/K ratio spectra, confirming the inter-pretation of the role of biotite.Key words:
Archaean, argon loss spectra, geochronology, Kola pen-insula, micro-sampling
1. INTRODUCTION
Time is a unique element in geosciences and the discov-ery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896 enabledthe development of radiogenic isotope geochemistry, open-ing the way for measurements of the age of geologicalmaterials and processes. This has enabled geoscientists to place the evolution of the Earth and geological processeswithin an absolute timeframe, which has fundamentallychanged thinking in the earth sciences.Metamorphism is one of the prime geological processes.Metamorphic rocks usually have undergone a complicatedtectono-metamorphic evolution. During this process theyhave been affected by superimposed recrystallisation phasesunder changing pressures and temperatures, as well as dif-ferent fluid activities. Ages of such events in collision andother tectonic zones have been recorded in micron-sizeddomains of minerals, and must be interpreted in close rela-tion to metamorphic mineral assemblages and the tectonicfabrics of rocks. Such very small domains are hard to datewith the conventional geochronological techniques andrequire the use of sophisticated micro-chronological meth-ods. Used for the dating of Th- and U-bearing accessoryminerals are: SHRIMP (Sensitive High-Resolution Ion Micro-Probe), different ion, electron and proton probe micro anal- ysers applying the regression-based chemical Th
U
totalPb isochron method (CHIME), and Laser Ablation Induc-tively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICPMS).A number of 
40
Ar/
39
Ar LASER (Light Amplification by Stim-ulated Emission of Radiation) techniques have been usedfor micro probe dating of small domains in K-bearing rock-forming silicates. Instead of a laser probe, a microscope-mounted drill can be used to obtain mm-scale discs of min-erals from targeted sites in polished petrographic thin sec-tions (Verschure, 1978). This micro-sampling techniquehas been applied to Rb–Sr (Meffan-Main et al., 2004) and
40
Ar/
39
Ar laser step-heating (de Jong and Wijbrans, 2006)dating.In this study I use dating results that de Jong and Wijbrans(2006) obtained on hornblende from the Lapland-Kola oro-gen, which experienced a polyphase tectono-metamorphicevolution of about 1 Ga from the late Neoarchaean to themiddle Palaeoproterozoic and is developed in the KolaPeninsula, Arctic European Russia (Fig. 1, insert map). Inthe present study I use numerical modelling of apparentloss
40
Ar/
39
Ar age spectra, i.e., spectra with progressivelyrising apparent ages, they obtained on hornblende sepa-rates to shed light on the cause of apparent loss age spectra.
Koen de Jong*
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Science, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Republic of Korea
*Corresponding author: keuntie@snu.ac.kr
 
318Koen de Jong
Modelling results of such staircase-type age spectra arecompared with laser step-heating age spectra of drilledhornblende discs without included biotite, and that wereessentially flat. A sharply discordant Rb–Sr age for a horn-blende–plagioclase pair is also discussed making use of theinsights gained from micro-sampled hornblende.
2. MICRO-CHRONOLOGY AND POLYPHASE TEC-TONO-METAMORPHIC EVOLUTION
In geodynamic environments characterised by superim- posed tectono-metamorphic events, rocks had to adapt tochanging physical conditions by recrystallisation duringP-T specific mineral reactions. Mineral zoning indicatesthat chemical-potential gradients were not eliminated byintracrystalline diffusion (Fisher, 1977). The occurrence of zoned metamorphic minerals, or the presence of relics,thus implies that disequilibrium conditions existed during asuccession in time of different metamorphic facies. Fabric-forming minerals record the changing physical conditionsalong P-T-d-t paths. This is also the case for polygeneticTh- and U-bearing accessory minerals like monazite, xeno-time, euxenite–polycrase, allanite and zircon (Crowley andGhent, 1999; Cocherie et al., 2005; Dahl et al., 2005; Dumondet al., 2008; Li et al., 2008; Suzuki and Kato, 2008; Bosseet al., 2009). Fluid-assisted recrystallisation that affectedionic bonds in minerals, consequently, played a paramountrole during exchange or loss of radiogenic daughter iso-topes (Wijbrans and McDougall, 1986; Miller et al., 1991;Villa 1998; Kerrich and Ludden 2000; de Jong et al., 2001;de Jong, 2003).A major geochronological challenge is to obtaining ageestimates for the timing of specific tectono-metamorphic phases or events in orogenic belts and tectonic zones. Becausethe host rocks have deformed and metamorphosed in anumber of phases, leading to chemical and isotopic zoningof minerals, radiometric ages of these events too have beenrecorded in small domains of minerals. Secondary Ion MassSpectrometry (SIMS) has been specifically designed forsingle-grain and in-situ
207
Pb/
206
Pb and U–Pb age determi-nations in accessory minerals with a high spatial resolutionof 15–30
μ
m using SHRIMP, Cameca IMS 1270 or Nano-SIMS NS50 instruments (Takahata et al., 2008). Electronand proton probe microanalyses in polished petrographic
Fig. 1.
Tectonic sketch map of the Kola Peninsula, modified after Timmerman (1996) and Daly et al. (2006). Palaeozoic nepheline syen-ite intrusives omitted for clarity. The location of Figure 2 with position the samples is outlined.
 
Hornblende apparent partial loss age spectra319
thin sections using CHIME (Suzuki and Adachi, 1991;Montel et al., 1996) offer a ten times higher spatial reso-lution (Cocherie et al., 2005; Dahl et al., 2005;
 
Dumond et al.,2008;
 
Kusiak and Lekki, 2008; Suzuki and Kato, 2008).For correct interpretation, in-situ microchronological datahave to be linked to detailed (micro) structural and petro-logic data. But it is often very difficult to link detailed U– Th–Pb age data of accessory minerals, which typically occuras sub-mm grains, to the evolution of assemblages of meta-morphic minerals or to fabric-forming main phase silicates.By linking REE patterns in zircon (e.g., Kelly and Harley2005; Rubatto and Hermann 2007) and monazite (e.g.,Pyle and Spear 2001;
 
Foster et al., 2002) to growth phasesof specifically garnet but also K-Feldspar (Mahan et al.,2006), compositional changes and correlated age informa-tion contained in the accessory minerals can be linked tochanges in the rock-forming mineral assemblage, and thusto the pressure-temperature the evolution.
 
In-situ dating inconjunction with microstructural studies enabled incre-mental growth of monazite to be related to phases of super-imposed deformation (e.g., Dahl et al., 2005;
 
Dumond etal., 2008). An often overlooked aspect when interpretingages of “robust” accessory minerals is that although Pb dif-fusion at high temperature is extremely slow - assuringconservation of earlier recorded age information - fluid-rock interaction under greenschist-facies conditions may lead to profound chemical and isotopic alteration of monazite(Crowley and Ghent, 2000; Li et al., 2008; Bosse et al.,2009) and zircon (Gebauer and Grünenfelder, 1976). Thisis not always recognised. A regional
40
Ar/
39
Ar study in theTianshan (NW China) revealed that an erroneous assump-tion of a Triassic U–Pb SHRIMP age on zircon for theUHP metamorphism must, in all likelihood, be due to syn-exhumation fluid-mediated recrystallisation; see de Jong etal. (2009), Li et al. (2008) and Wang et al. (2009), for dis-cussion. In contrast to accessory mineral dating,
40
Ar/
39
Ardating can be applied to a wide range of K-bearing, com-mon rock-forming minerals, like micas, feldspars and amphib-oles. This is a big advantage as their growth can bestraightforwardly correlated to major phases of the tectono-metamorphic evolution of rocks.
3.
40
Ar/
39
Ar LASER PROBE AND MICRO-SAMPLINGTECHNIQUES
The
40
Ar/
39
Ar technique, like the K–Ar method from whichit is derived, is based on the natural radioactive decay of 
40
K in
40
Ca and
40
Ar* (radiogenic argon). In contrast to theK–Ar method, in order to be able to be dated with the
40
Ar/
39
Ar technique samples have to be irradiated with fast neu-trons in a nuclear reactor, which leads to the production of 
39
Ar from the
39
K isotope in the mineral. Because all targetisotopes are gases they can be directly measured with a noblegas mass spectrometer, after being extracted from the sam- ple in a high-vacuum system. This is done in a number of steps at increasingly higher temperature with furnace sys-tems or a defocussed laser beam on mineral concentrates orentire grains, or by spot dating using the laser as micro- probe. Other isotopes that are produced during irradiationare
38
Ar and
37
Ar from respectively the
37
Cl and
40
Ca isotopesin the samples. These can be used to obtain information onthe chemistry of the dated materials, in terms of e.g., Ca/K and Cl/K ratios - proxies for
37
Ar
Ca
/
39
Ar
K
and
38
Ar
Cl
/
39
Ar
K
,respectively - especially when combined with electron probemicroanalyses (EPMA). This geochemical information isuseful to identify the effect of mineral zoning, the presenceof exsolution features and/or included contaminant miner-als or fluids on the age of the target mineral, as possiblechemically different phases degas at different temperatures.In general degassing of a heterogeneous phase leads totrends in
40
Ar/
39
Ar age and Ca/K ratio spectra, either sym- pathetically or antipathetically, as is well established forhornblende (e.g., Berger, 1975; Berry and McDougall, 1986;Onstott and Peacock, 1987; Kelley and Turner, 1991; Lee,1993; Rex et al., 1993; Wartho, 1995a; Villa et al., 2000;de Jong and Wijbrans, 2006).The
40
Ar/
39
Ar method is not only a powerful tool toestablish isotopic ages of events on mineral concentratesusing furnace systems; it also enables spot dating of micrometer scale domains within minerals in thin sectionsusing state-of-the-art laser probe techniques.
40
Ar/
39
Ar lasermicroprobe spot fusion techniques have revealed age gra-dients in mica (Maluski and Monié, 1988; Phillips andOnstott, 1988; Scaillet et al., 1990; de Jong et al., 1992)and hornblende (Kelly and Turner, 1991). Focussed ultra-violet lasers ablate and strip thin layers from the surface of crystals rather than melt the sample as other laser tech-niques; data can be obtained spatially resolved to 10
μ
m(Kelley et al., 1994; Kelley and Wartho, 2000; Mulch et al.,2002). A microscope-mounted drill can be used to micro-sample minerals in polished petrographic thin sections,while targeting parts of grains without zoning or included phases. Such 1.5 mm diameter drilled discs can subse-quently be analysed by step-heating with a defocused laser(de Jong and Wijbrans, 2006).
 
40
Ar/
39
Ar dating applying var-ious laser techniques thus enables to relate age informationto the microstructures and petrology of rocks.
4. LAPLAND-KOLA OROGEN
The Lapland - Kola orogen (LKO) is a high-pressurePalaeoproterozoic collisional belt located in the northern-most part of the Fennoscandian (Baltic) Shield, one of thebest-known Precambrian regions on Earth. The orogenicbelt occurs to the North of the Karelian Craton, a classic Neoarchaean granite–greenstone province, and stretchesfor ca. 700 km from the Caledonian front in northern Nor-way to the southeast, where it is covered by the Palaeozoic

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