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Journal articles

Role of Defects and Radiation Damage on He Diffusion in Magnetite: Implication for (U-Th)/He Thermochronology

Abstract : The discovery of He retentivity in magnetite has opened up the use of the magnetite (U-Th)/He method as a thermochronometer to date the exhumation of mafic and ultramafic rocks, and also as a chronometer to date magnetite crystallization during serpentinization. However, published He diffusion data reveal more complex behavior than expected. To resolve this issue and generalize the understanding of He retention in magnetite, we conducted a multiscale theoretical study. We investigated the impact of natural point-defects (i.e., vacancies unrelated to radiation damage) and defects associated with radiation damage (i.e., vacancies and recoil damage that form amorphous zones) on He diffusion in magnetite. The theoretical results show that He diffusion is purely isotropic, and that defect-free magnetite is more He diffusive than indicated by experimental data on natural specimen. Interestingly, the obtained theoretical trapping energy of vacancies and recoil damage are very similar to those obtained from experimental diffusion data. These results suggest that He diffusion in magnetite is strongly controlled by the presence of vacancies and radiation damage, even at very low damage dose. We propose that, when using magnetite (U-Th)/He thermochronometry, the impact of vacancies and radiation damage on He retention behavior should be integrated.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 11:47:41 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 9:38:38 AM


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Fadel Bassal, Jérôme Roques, Marianna Corre, Fabrice Brunet, Richard Ketcham, et al.. Role of Defects and Radiation Damage on He Diffusion in Magnetite: Implication for (U-Th)/He Thermochronology. Minerals, 2022, 12 (5), pp.590. ⟨10.3390/min12050590⟩. ⟨hal-03669536⟩



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