Uranium series, volcanic rocks

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Abstract

Application of U-series dating to volcanic rocks provides unique and valuable information about the absolute timing of crystallization and differentiation of magmas prior to eruption. The 238U–230Th and 230Th-226Ra methods are the most commonly employed for dating the crystallization of mafic to silicic magmas that erupt at volcanoes. Dates derived from the U–Th and Ra–Th methods reflect crystallization because diffusion of these elements at magmatic temperatures is sluggish (Cherniak 2010) and diffusive re-equilibration is insignificant over the timescales (less than or equal to 10^5 years) typically associated with pre-eruptive storage of nearly all magma compositions (Cooper and Reid 2008). Other dating methods based on elements that diffuse rapidly at magmatic temperatures, such as the 40Ar/39Ar and (U–Th)/He methods, yield dates for the cooling of magma at the time of eruption. Disequilibrium of some short-lived daughters of the uranium series such as 210Po may be fractionated by saturation of a volatile phase and can be employed to date magmatic gas loss that is synchronous with volcanic eruption (e.g., Rubin et al. 1994).

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Uranium series, volcanic rocks
DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-6326-5_233-1
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N