Investigating the Shallow to Mid-Depth (>100–300 °C) Continental Crust Evolution with (U-Th)/He Thermochronology: A Review - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Minerals Year : 2022

Investigating the Shallow to Mid-Depth (>100–300 °C) Continental Crust Evolution with (U-Th)/He Thermochronology: A Review

Cécile Gautheron
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  • PersonId : 1127009
Mathias Hueck
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  • PersonId : 1134974
Beatrix Heller
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  • PersonId : 1134975
Stéphane Schwartz
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  • PersonId : 1121266
Philippe Sarda
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  • PersonId : 1127561

Abstract

Quantifying geological processes has greatly benefited from the development and use of thermochronometric methods over the last fifty years. Among them is the (U-Th)/He dating method, which is based on the production and retention, within a crystal structure, of radiogenic 4He atoms associated with the alpha decay of U, Th and Sm nuclei. While apatite has been the main target of (U-Th)/He studies focusing on exhumation and burial processes in the upper levels of the continental crust (~50–120 °C), the development of (U-Th)/He methods for typical phases of igneous and metamorphic rocks (e.g., zircon and titanite) or mafic and ultramafic rocks (e.g., magnetite) over the last two decades has opened up a myriad of geological applications at higher temperatures (>100–300 °C). Thanks to the understanding of the role of radiation damage in He diffusion and retention for U-Th-poor and rich mineral phases, the application of (U-Th)/He thermochronometry to exhumation processes and continental evolution through deep time is now mainstream. This contribution reviews the (U-Th)/He thermochronometer principle and the influence of radiation damage in modifying the diffusion behavior. It presents applications of (U-Th)/He dating to problems in tectonic and surface processes at shallow to middle crustal depths (>100–300 °C). New and promising applications using a combination of methods will stimulate a research avenue in the future.
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insu-03675552 , version 1 (23-05-2022)

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Cécile Gautheron, Mathias Hueck, Sébastien Ternois, Beatrix Heller, Stéphane Schwartz, et al.. Investigating the Shallow to Mid-Depth (>100–300 °C) Continental Crust Evolution with (U-Th)/He Thermochronology: A Review. Minerals, 2022, 12 (5), pp.563. ⟨10.3390/min12050563⟩. ⟨insu-03675552⟩
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