Geochronology (Dec 2022)

In situ U–Pb dating of 4 billion-year-old carbonates in the martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001

  • R. Tartèse,
  • I. C. Lyon

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4
pp. 683 – 690


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In situ carbonate U–Pb dating studies have proliferated dramatically in recent years. Almost all these studies have targeted relatively young terrestrial calcite up to Carboniferous in age. To assess the robustness of the carbonate U–Pb chronometer in deep time, we carried out in situ U–Pb analyses in magnesite–ankerite–calcite carbonates in the martian meteorite Allan Hills (ALH) 84001. Carbonates in ALH 84001 formed at ca. 3.94 Ga, and there is little evidence that much happened to this rock since then, making it an ideal sample to test the robustness of the U–Pb system in old carbonates. We obtained a concordant date of 3941 ± 49/110 Ma (n=14, MSWD = 2.0), which is identical to the step-leaching Rb/Sr date determined previously. These results thus confirm that old carbonates are amenable to U–Pb dating in samples that have had a relatively simple history post-carbonate formation.