Ultraprecise age and formation temperature of the Australasian tektites constrained by 40Ar/39Ar analyses

Fred JOURDAN1, Sebastien NOMADE2, Michael T. D. WINGATE3, Ela EROGLU4, and AlDEINO5
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1111/maps.13305]
1Western Australian Argon Isotope Facility, JdL Centre & School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Curtin University, GPOBox U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de L’Environnement, UMR 8212, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Universite Paris-Saclay, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
3Dept of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Geological Survey of Western Australia, East Perth, Western Australia 6004,Australia
4Department of Chemical Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
5Berkeley Geochronology Center, 2455 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, California 94709, USA
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

The Australasian tektites are quench melt glass ejecta particles distributed over the Asian, Australian, and Antarctic regions, the source crater of which is currently elusive. New 40Ar/39Ar age data from four tektites: one each from Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Australia measured using three different instruments from two different laboratories and combined with published 40Ar/39Ar data yield a weighted mean age of 788.1 ± 2.8 ka (±3.0 ka, including all sources of uncertainties) (P = 0.54). This age is five times more precise compared to previous results thanks, in part, to the multicollection capabilities of the ARGUS VI noble gas mass spectrometer, which allows an improvement of almost fourfold on a single plateau age measurement. Diffusion experiments on tektites combined with synthetic age spectra and Monte Carlo diffusion models suggest that the minimum temperature of formation of the Thai tektite is between 2350 °C and 3950 °C, hence a strict minimum value of 2350 °C.

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