Geological Society of London
ArAr-281_Heri_suppub.csv (20.52 kB)

Petrology and geochronology of ‘muscovite age standard’ B4M

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posted on 2016-06-21, 11:15 authored by Alexandra R. Heri, Martin Robyr, Igor M. Villa

Muscovite B4M, distributed in 1961 as an age standard, was ground under ethanol. Five grain size fractions were obtained and characterized by X-ray diffraction. They display a mixing trend between a phengitic (enriched in the fraction <0.2 µm) and a muscovitic component (predominant in the fraction >20 µm). High-pressure phengite is preserved as a relict in retrograde muscovite. Electron microprobe analyses of the distributed mineral separate reveal at least four white mica populations based on Si, Al, Mg, Na, Fe and F. Rb/K ratios vary by one order of magnitude. Rb–Sr analyses link the mineralogical heterogeneity to variable Rb/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr ratios. The grain size fractions define no internal isochron. Relict fine-grained phengite gives older ages than coarse-grained retrograde greenschist facies muscovite. The inverse grain size–age relationship also characterizes 39Ar/40Ar analyses. Cl/K anticorrelates with step ages: Cl-rich coarse muscovite is younger than Cl-poor fine relict phengite. Sr and Ar preserve a similar isotopic inheritance despite peak metamorphism reaching 635±20 °C. A suitable mineral standard requires that its petrological equilibrium first be demonstrated. Relicts and retrograde reaction textures are a guarantee of isotopic disequilibrium and heterogeneous ages within single crystal at the micrometre scale.