Argon extraction from geological samples by CO2 scanning laser step-heating

Barfod, D. , Mark, D.F. , Tait, A., Dymock, R.C. and Imlach, J. (2014) Argon extraction from geological samples by CO2 scanning laser step-heating. Journal of the Geological Society, 378, pp. 79-90. (doi: 10.1144/SP378.23)

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Lasers are fundamental tools for sampling in geochemical studies and have found wide application in mass spectrometric sample introduction systems. Here we describe an isotope extraction method for 40Ar/39Ar geochronology using a new scanning CO2 laser system. This method can partially un-mix radiogenic (40Ar*) from trapped argon components and provides an alternative to furnace step-heating methods. A key advantage of the laser scanning method developed at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) is the ability to step-heat samples as large as 100 mg to fusion using low raster speeds, although care must be taken to avoid self-shielding of grains and proper laser targeting. The scanning laser extraction system has the potential for lower overall blanks and the ability to run blanks and calibrations between steps of a heating sequence. This provides better control on system performance and characterization during sample measurement and can result in improved data quality.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mark, Professor Darren and Imlach, Mr James and Barfod, Dr Dan and Tait, Mr Andrew and Dymock, Mr Ross
Authors: Barfod, D., Mark, D.F., Tait, A., Dymock, R.C., and Imlach, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Journal of the Geological Society
Publisher:Geological Society of London
ISSN (Online):2041-479X

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