Recent developments in the application of K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar dating of continental weathering process demonstrate the method's suitability for dating minerals present in weathering profiles. Alunite-group sulfates and hollandite-group manganese oxides, which often precipitate through weathering reactions, were first analyzed by the K-Ar method 30 years ago. Recently these minerals were shown to be suitable to 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, despite their fine-grained habits. The bulk nature of the K-Ar technique and the complex mineral assemblages in weathering profiles restrict K-Ar dating of weathering processes. The single-crystal approach possible with the 40Ar/39Ar method allows the study of weathering profiles where alunite- and hollandite-group minerals occur as minor phases. Step-heating analysis possible with the 40Ar/39Ar method provides information about the Ar and K retention histories, the presence of hypogene contaminants, and possible 39Ar recoil during sample irradiation. Fully automated, modern 40Ar/39Ar systems enable analysis of several samples, providing a comprehensive weathering database. These results are useful in the study of continental paleoclimates and the geochemical, geomorphological, and tectonic histories of an area.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error