A global zircon U–Th–Pb geochronological database

Wu, Yujing; Fang, Xianjun; Ji, Jianqing

Since the start of the 21st century, the widespread application of ion probes has promoted the mass output of high-precision and high-accuracy U–Th–Pb geochronological data. Zircon, as a commonly used mineral for U–Th–Pb dating, widely exists in the continental crust and records a variety of geological activities. Due to the universality and stability of zircon and the long half-lives of U and Th isotopes, zircon U–Th–Pb geochronology can provide nearly continuous records for almost the entirety of Earth's history and is thus essential to studying the growth and evolution of the continental crust and Earth system evolution. Here, we present a database of zircon U–Th–Pb geochronology that samples the global continental crust and spans nearly all of Earth's history. This database collects inline-formula∼2 000 000 geochronology records from inline-formula∼12 000 papers and dissertations. This paper describes the compiled raw data, presents the relationship between dating error and zircon age, compares the error levels of different dating instruments, and discusses the impact of sampling bias on data analysis as well as how to evaluate and minimize this impact. In addition, we provide an overview of the temporal and spatial distribution of global zircon ages and provide key insights into the potential research value of zircon ages for Earth system science, such as crustal evolution, plate tectonics, and paleoclimate changes, as well as commercial use in mining and energy exploration. Overall, this data collection provides us with a comprehensive platform with which to study zircon chronological data in deep time and space. The described zircon database is freely available via Zenodo at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7387566https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7387566 (Wu et al., 2023).

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Wu, Yujing / Fang, Xianjun / Ji, Jianqing: A global zircon U–Th–Pb geochronological database. 2023. Copernicus Publications.

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