(U-Th)/He lab


apl. Prof. Edward Sobel, PhD

+49 331 977 5855
+49 331 977 5700
View of the extraction line (left) and sample chamber and microscope (right) of the UP alphachron
Extraction line (left), sample chamber and microscope (right)

The (U-Th-Sm)/He lab is equipped with an Alphachron automated system for helium measurement. We can measure 24 aliquots in automatic mode in < 1 week. We collaborate with PD Dr. Johannes Glodny in section 4.2 at the GFZ-Potsdam; he is responsible for sample dissolution and analysis of U, Th and Sm using ICP-MS. At present, we are only analyzing apatites; we are now working towards analyzing zircons.

Durango results
Results from the Durango age standard

To test the reproducibility of our analyses, we have analyzed numerous aliquots of Durango apatite, which has an age of 31.0 ± 2.0 Ma (mean of 24 (U-Th)/He ages (some without Sm); McDowell et al. 2005) or 31.4 ± 0.2 Ma (40Ar/39Ar; McDowell et al. 2005). From 72 aliquots, we have obtained a mean age of 32.5 ± 2.0 Ma (2s analytical error). If we discard 6 obvious outliers, we obtain an age of 30.8 ± 1.6 Ma (2 sigma, n = 66).

Binocular microscope

For picking single crystals for analysis, we have a high resolution binocular microscope equipped with a digital camera.