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The reproducibility is 2–4% (2RSD) for Pb, only slightly greater than long-term data for zircon reference materials.
We show in a rutile provenance study from young orogens (Bhutan Himalaya and Canadian Cordillera) that the sensitivity of our analytical set-up allows dating of ~ 90% of rutiles in a sediment using a 50 μm laser ablation spotsize within samples containing rutile as young as 10–20 Ma, and obviates the requirement for U concentration pre-screening, thus reducing or eliminating rutile selection bias.
Potential age inversions in small regions are revealed, which cannot be detected by solution analysis due to the insufficient spatial resolution.
In response to the general lack of sufficiently abundant and high quality rutile UPb reference materials for in situ geochronology, we have characterised two new potential rutile ~ 1.8 Ga reference materials (Sugluk-4 and PCA-S207) from granulite facies belts of the Canadian Shield, namely the northern Cape Smith Belt of Quebec and the Snowbird Tectonic Zone (Sasatchewan).
Unsuccessful analyses are due to poor quality rutiles with predominant common Pb, Pb-method’ (using the Tera-Wasserburg diagram) to correct for substantial common Pb in very young and/or very low-U rutiles, rather than developing an on-line correction.
Since rutile ages reflect mainly the time of cooling, rutile is a sensitive recorder of metamorphic thermochronological information and therefore is an excellent complement to detrital zircon U 480 Ma, with only a few grains or metamorphic rims reflecting Miocene metamorphism); as such rutile provides complementary information about the thermal events within the source regions of the grains.
The data are corrected and calibrated by two factors (U, respectively, using a carbonate material (flowstone in secular equilibrium). With a spot size of 110 μm and spatial resolution of about 400 μm or higher, it is possible to see much more details in thin growing layers than conventional solution analysis, where mixed layer sampling cannot be avoided.
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Even small rutile crystals are extremely resistant to isotopic resetting. 3 °C/Myr, the estimates for monazite and other high temperature geochronometers, which have been revised upwards in recent years.
The new rutile ages, together with the other geochronological data from the region, support the interpretation that the Reynolds Range underwent prolonged slow cooling on a conductive geotherm, under nearly steady-state conditions.
Rutile UPb dating is an underexploited provenance method with wide applicability to sedimentary provenance studies.