We also offer bespoke dating of other mineral-isotope systems that may provide solutions to specific problems, including geochronological dating of igneous and metamorphic rocks.
Detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology is a powerful technique used for studies of sand and sandstone provenance.
Different zones of a single zircon grains also often preserve different ages reflecting a complex thermal history that they have undergone (e.g.
inherited core and metamorphic overgrowth), adding valuable details to geological interpretations.
Scientists use this method to date rocks that formed from between 1 million to 4.5 billion years ago, and they estimate the Earth is 4.543 billion years old.
The oldest and most reliable method they use is called Uranium-lead (U-Pb) dating.
In a vacuum state, the dating of this mineral would be easy and straightforward.
Every 710 million years the 235U of the actinium series would be at its half-life, so there would be the same amount of uranium and lead atoms.
Zircon is ubiquitous in a wide variety of crustal rocks and sediments.
Its tendency to incorporate radioactive elements U and Th as well as low levels of Pb enables determinations of its crystallisation age to be determining using the U-Pb radioactive decay systems.
Diagnostic CL zoning patterns, together with other zircon morphological features (e.g.