Chronology > Quaternary Geochronology
U-series and U-Pb capability for carbonate geochronology has been developed at NIGL to support NERC climate research, benefitting from extensive knowledge transfer from NIGL's U-Th-Pb geochronology facility. U-series (specifically 230Th/234U) geochronology projects currently in progress and recently completed include studies of speleothems, warm and cold water corals, terrestrial deposits (tufa), and lake sediments, as well as 234U/238U as a groundwater tracer work. Samples dated thus far have ranged in age from c. 450 ka to recent. Sample preparation takes place in NIGL's clean chemistry laboratories which are equipped with an ESI/New Wave Research micromill for microsampling, Evapoclean unit for total sample dissolution involving perchloric acid if necessary, and in-house ultrapure acid production. Samples are routinely analysed on a Neptune Plus MC-ICP-MS, although if required, U samples can be measured on NIGL's U-Pb geochronology Triton TIMS instrument.The Neptune is fitted with a variety of Faraday amplifier boards that would permit very high precision 234U/238U analysis if required by particular applications. Highly enriched mixed 229Th/236U tracers are used at NIGL and have been calibrated against gravimetric solutions prepared from high purity U and Th metals.