Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1150
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1150
14 Jun 2024
 | 14 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Development of an integrated analytical platform of clay minerals separation, characterization and 40K/40Ar dating

Marie Gerardin, Gaetan Milesi, Julien Mercadier, Michel Cathelineau, and Danièle Bartier

Abstract. Isotopic dating is a valuable method to constrain the timing of lithospheric processes: geodynamic episodes, ore deposition and geothermal regimes. The K-Ar dating technique has the main advantage of being applied to ubiquitous K-bearing minerals that crystallize in various temperatures, from magmatic to low temperatures. Clays are of significant interest among all K-bearing minerals, as they crystallize during various hydro-thermo-dynamic processes. Nonetheless, the dating of illites by the K-Ar method is not straightforward. K-Ar dates on illite usually rely on a mixed isotopic signal referring to various illitic populations that might have experienced isotopic resetting or re-crystallization processes. Therefore, reliable K-Ar dates on illite depend on (1) the grain size separation of large amounts of clay fractions, (2) the study of the morphology, mineralogy and crystallography, (3) the determination of precise K-Ar dates on each clay size fraction and (4) the meaningful interpretation of ages using either end-member ages or the Illite-Age-Analysis (IAA) method. This paper describes the instrumentation and methods recently developed at the GeoRessources laboratory of the University of Lorraine to obtain valuable ages on illite mixtures.

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Marie Gerardin, Gaetan Milesi, Julien Mercadier, Michel Cathelineau, and Danièle Bartier

Status: open (until 21 Aug 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1150', Jesús Solé, 19 Jul 2024 reply
Marie Gerardin, Gaetan Milesi, Julien Mercadier, Michel Cathelineau, and Danièle Bartier
Marie Gerardin, Gaetan Milesi, Julien Mercadier, Michel Cathelineau, and Danièle Bartier

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Short summary
Clay minerals are helpful markers of low-temperature geological processes. The combination of their characterization with geochronology is a powerful tool to constrain physical and chemical processes, improving our understanding of the evolution of the Earth system. This paper aims to present the platform along with the associated methods developed at the GeoRessources laboratory (University of Lorraine) to separate, characterize clay minerals and date illites using the K-Ar method.