# Tools for uranium characterization in carbonate samples: case studies of natural U–Pb geochronology reference materials

Laser ablation U–Pb analyses of carbonate (LAcarb) samples has greatly expanded the potential for U–Pb dating to a variety of carbonate-producing settings. Carbonates that were previously considered impossible to date using isotope dilution methods may preserve radiogenic domains that can be dated using spatially resolved laser ablation geochronology techniques. Work is ongoing to identify reference materials and to consider best practices for LAcarb. In this study we apply standard and emerging characterization tool sets on three natural samples with the dual goal of enhancing the study of carbonates and establishing a new set of well-characterized natural reference materials for LAcarb studies. We start with the existing carbonate reference material WC-1 from the Permian Reef Complex of Texas, building on the published description to offer a deeper look at U and associated trace elements. We consider a tufa sample from the Miocene Barstow Formation of the Mojave Block, California, as a possible secondary calcite reference material due to its well-behaved U–Pb systematics. There are currently no natural dolomite standards. We present an unusual dolomite sample with very well-behaved U–Pb systematics from the Miocene of the Turkana Basin of Kenya as a possible dolomite reference material for LAcarb dating. In addition to using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) mapping and spectroscopy to better understand U in these natural samples, we have analyzed multiple aliquots of each of them for inline-formula $M1inlinescrollmathmlchem{}^{normal 87}\mathrm{normal Sr}{/}^{normal 86}\mathrm{normal Sr}$ 49pt15ptsvg-formulamathimg7f4baae305f328d12fa7f61ee32c1202 gchron-3-103-2021-ie00001.svg49pt15ptgchron-3-103-2021-ie00001.png by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). The Sr isotope compositions are analytically homogeneous within petrographically homogeneous regions of all three samples, and thus these materials could be used as Sr isotope standards as well. While not part of the current contribution, this combination could streamline simultaneous LA analyses of inline-formula $M2inlinescrollmathmlchem{}^{normal 87}\mathrm{normal Sr}{/}^{normal 86}\mathrm{normal Sr}$ 49pt15ptsvg-formulamathimgfc572d0bea75b4287a5b3ee79eca9f85 gchron-3-103-2021-ie00002.svg49pt15ptgchron-3-103-2021-ie00002.png and U–Pb geochronology.

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Rasbury, E. Troy / Present, Theodore M. / Northrup, Paul / et al: Tools for uranium characterization in carbonate samples: case studies of natural U–Pb geochronology reference materials. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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