Increasing number of geological applications requires the
use of well-characterized and widely available reference
materials for in situ analysis. We have established a new
natural zircon standard (“Plešovice”) for U-Pb dating and Hf
isotopic analysis by laser ablation ICP-MS.
The ID-TIMS U-Pb age of the Plešovice zircon has been
determined to 336.9±0.2 Ma (95% confidence limits; mean
206Pb/238U age). The U-Pb ages obtained by LA ICP-MS (3
labs) and SIMS techniques show larger spread but within their
analytical uncertainties they are consistent with the TIMS age.
Hafnium isotopic composition of the Plešovice zircon appears
to be homogenous within and between grains. Combined laser
ablation and solution MC ICP-MS analyses gave a mean
176Hf/177Hf value of 0.282481±0.000013 (95% confidence
limits, 87 analyses). Cathodoluminescence and BSE imaging
and chemical analyses revealed that discrete zones in the
Plešovice zircon are enriched in trace elements and especially
in U and Th. Raman spectroscopy suggests that these highly
radiation-damaged areas have not undergone any annealing.
Our LA ICP-MS analyses did not indicate any Pb-loss but the
high intensities of measured U signal require that these areas
are avoided during routine U-Pb isotopic analysis.