Enhanced precision, accuracy, efficiency, and spatial resolution of U-Pb ages by laser ablation-multicollector-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

George E. Gehrels, Victor A. Valencia, Joaquin Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

660 Scopus citations


U-Th-Pb geochronology by laser ablation-multicollector-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry initiated during the mid to late 1990s as a reconnaissance tool, capable of generating ages of only moderate precision from relatively large volumes of zircon. New developments in instrumentation and experimental methodology, as described herein and by other researchers, now make it possible it to correct for common Pb accurately (using measured 204Pb), to acquire geochronologic information rapidly (30-40 unknowns/h), to generate U-Pb ages with an accuracy of better than 1% for most zircon standards, and to conduct analyses on much smaller (e.g., 10 μm by 6 μm) volumes of material. These capabilities are driving important advances in many aspects of Earth science research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberQ03017
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008



  • Geochronology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this