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A procedural manual for measurement of uranium and thorium isotopes utilizing the USGS-Stanford Finnegan Mat 262

Open-File Report 2001-333

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Abstract

Over the past several decades investigators have extensively examined the 238U-234U- 230Th systematics of a variety of geologic materials using alpha spectroscopy. Analytical uncertainty for 230Th by alpha spectroscopy has been limited to about 2% (2σ). The advantage of thermal ionization mass spectroscopy (TIMS), introduced by Edwards and co-workers in the late 1980’s is the increased detectability of these isotopes by a factor of ~200, and decreases in the uncertainty for 230Th to about 5‰ (2σ) error.


This report is a procedural manual for using the USGS-Stanford Finnegan-Mat 262 TIMS to collect and isolate Uranium and Thorium isotopic ratio data. Chemical separation of Uranium and Thorium from the sample media is accomplished using acid dissolution and then processed using anion exchange resins.


The Finnegan-Mat262 Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS) utilizes a surface ionization technique in which nitrates of Uranium and Thorium are placed on a source filament. Upon heating, positive ion emission occurs. The ions are then accelerated and focused into a beam which passes through a curved magnetic field dispersing the ions by mass. Faraday cups and/or an ion counter capture the ions and allow for quantitative analysis of the various isotopes.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
A procedural manual for measurement of uranium and thorium isotopes utilizing the USGS-Stanford Finnegan Mat 262
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2001-333
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Geophysics Unit of Menlo Park, CA (GUMP)
Description:
32 p.
Number of Pages:
32