Rutile crystals as potential trace element and isotope mineral standards for microanalysis

G. L. Luvizotto*, T. Zack, H. P. Meyer, T. Ludwig, S. Triebold, A. Kronz, C. Münker, D. F. Stockli, S. Prowatke, S. Klemme, D. E. Jacob, H. von Eynatten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper reports trace element concentrations of 15 elements (V, Cr, Fe, Zr, Nb, Mo, Sn, Sb, Hf, Ta, W, Lu, Pb, Th and U) as well as Pb and Hf isotope data for four relatively homogeneous and large (centimeter size) rutile grains. Methods employed are SIMS, EMP, LA-ICP-MS, ID-MC-ICP-MS and TIMS. For most elements homogeneity is usually within ± 10% and occasionally variations are even narrower (± 5%), particularly in the core of two of the studied grains. The trace element concentrations of the grains span a broad compositional range (e.g., Zr concentrations are ca. 4, 100, 300 and 800 ppm). Provisional concentration values, calculated based on the homogeneity of the element and agreement between techniques, are presented for Zr, Nb, Sn, Sb, Hf, Ta, W and U. The present work represents a significant step forward in finding a suitable mineral standard for rutile microanalysis and encourages not only further search for mineral standards but also applications of rutile in the field of geochemistry and geochronology. In this sense, the rutiles presented here are useful as mineral standard in general in-situ rutile measurements, particularly for Zr-in-rutile thermometry, quantitative provenance studies (Nb and Cr concentrations as index of source rock type) and U-Pb dating. One of the studied grains has a relatively high U concentration (ca. 30 ppm) and rather constant U-Pb ages (1085.1 to 1096.2 Ma, 207Pb/235U ages and 1086.3 to 1096.6 Ma, 206Pb/238U ages), favoring its application as an age standard for U-Pb rutile dating. Since Lu concentrations in rutile are very low and Hf concentrations can be relatively high (tens of ppm), detrital rutiles may be suitable for obtaining initial Hf isotope composition of source rocks, therefore the rutiles presented here can be used as calibration material for in-situ rutile Hf isotope studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-369
Number of pages24
JournalChemical Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


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