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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Method development for 234U and 230Th determination and application to fossil deep-water coral and authigenic carbonate dating from the Campos Basin - Brazil


A 234U and 230Th determination method based on an extraction chromatographic separation 

followed by ICP-MS with quadrupole (ICP-QMS) was developed. For authigenic carbonates, a 

second separation step with ion exchange chromatography in a HNO3 solution was added. These 

methods were applied to seven fossil deep-water coral and two authigenic carbonate samples 

from the continental slope of the Campos Basin - Brazil. The ages determined for the fossil corals 

samples from the same sediment core ranged from 9 to 202 ky with a 1% uncertainty, consistent 

with the values determined by 14C dating and with those determined by 230Th/234U using flow 

injection coupled to an ICP-QMS. One of the authigenic carbonates analyzed presented an age of 

approximately 80 ky. The other sample exhibited a 230Th/234U activity ratio close to equilibrium 

and out of the application range of the method.

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