GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 144-8
Presentation Time: 3:15 PM


KUIPER, Klaudia, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, Amsterdam, 1081 HV, Netherlands, SAHY, Diana, NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, United Kingdom, SIERRO, Francisco Javier, Geology, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain, HILGEN, Frits, Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 4, Utrecht, 3584 CD, Netherlands, ZEEDEN, Christian, Department of Geography, RWTH Aachen University, Wüllnerstr. 5b, Aachen, D-52056, Germany and CONDON, Daniel, NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, United Kingdom,

The challenges outlined through the EARTHITME Initiative, of increasing accuracy in radio-isotopic dating systems not only influenced the U/Pb community, but also had its impact on the 40Ar/39Ar community. Building upon a background of 40Ar/39Ar inter-calibration experiments (e.g., Renne et a., 1998) a novel approach to calibrating the age of the most widely used standard in 40Ar/39Ar dating, the Fish Canyon Tuff sanidine (FCs), was developed by intercalibrating the 40Ar/39Ar method with absolute chronologies derived from astronomical tuning methods (Kuiper et al., 2008). This age of 28.201 ± 0.046 Ma appeared to minimize bias between different geochronometers, such as U/Pb and 40Ar/39Ar, and was subsequently adopted in the standard Geological Time Scale (GTS2012). However, the debate about the FCs age nevertheless continued with estimates based on model approaches, U/Pb dating and alternative astronomical calibrations ranging from 27.89 to 28.394 Ma.

Here we evaluate these attempts to determine the FCs age and present relevant new data as well. We re-examined the astronomical tuning of cyclic late Miocene sections in the Mediter­ranean that underlie the FCs age of 28.201 Ma in detail and show that it is indeed reliable down to the individual precession cycle. This was already confirmed by single crystal U/Pb zircon ages of the Fish Canyon tuff (Wotzlaw et al., 2012). We also present new U/Pb - 40Ar/39Ar age pairs from the Cretaceous of North America, that confirm an FCs age ~28.2 Ma. Over the past decade reproducible FCs calibration experiments, 40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb ‘equivalence pairs’ and other inter-calibration experiments have significantly increased the accuracy of the 40Ar/39Ar dating system and minimized the discordance between U/Pb and 40Ar/39Ar chronologies that existed at the start of the EARTHTIME and were a major motivation for efforts in the first part of the initiative.