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Title: Systematic variations of argon diffusion in feldspars and implications for thermochronometry

Coupled information about the time-dependent production and temperature-dependent diffusion of radiogenic argon in feldspars can be used to constrain the thermal evolution attending a host of Earth and planetary processes. To better assess the accuracy of thermal models, an understanding of the mechanisms and pathways by which argon diffuses in feldspars is desirable. Here we present step-heating Ar diffusion experiments conducted on feldspars with diverse compositions, structural states, and microstructural characteristics. The experiments reveal systematic variations in diffusive behavior that appear closely related to these variables, with apparent closure temperatures for 0.1–1 mm grains of ~200–400 °C (assuming a 10 °C/Ma cooling rate). Given such variability, there is no broadly applicable set of diffusion parameters that can be utilized in feldspar thermal modeling; sample-specific data are required. Diffusion experiments conducted on oriented cleavage flakes do not reveal directionally-dependent diffusive anisotropy to within the resolution limits of our approach (approximately a factor of 2). Additional experiments aimed at constraining the physical significance of the diffusion domain are presented and indicate that unaltered feldspar crystals with or without coherent exsolution lamellae diffuse at the grain-scale, whereas feldspars containing hydrothermal alteration and/or incoherent sub-grain intergrowths do not. Arrhenius plots for argon diffusion inmore » plagioclase and alkali feldspars appear to reflect a confluence of intrinsic diffusion kinetics and structural transitions that occur during incremental heating experiments. These structural transitions, along with sub-grain domain size variations, cause deviations from linearity (i.e., upward and downward curvature) on Arrhenius plots. An atomistic model for Arrhenius behavior is proposed that incorporates the variable lattice deformations of different feldspars in response to heating and compression. Furthermore, the resulting implications for accurately extrapolating laboratory-derived diffusion parameters to natural settings and over geologic time are discussed. We find that considerable inaccuracies may exist in published thermal histories obtained using multiple diffusion domain (MDD) models fit to Arrhenius plots for exsolved alkali feldspar, where the inferred Ar partial retention zones may be spuriously hot.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Berkeley Geochronology Center, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7037
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 112; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7037
The Geochemical Society; The Meteoritical Society
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: