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Fission-track dating of British Ordovician and Silurian stratotypes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2009

R. J. Ross Jr
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado 80401, U.S.A.
C. W. Naeser
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225, U.S.A.
G. A. Izett
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225, U.S.A.
J. D. Obradovich
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225, U.S.A.
M. G. Bassett
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff CF1 3NP, U.K.
C. P. Hughes
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, U.K.
L. R. M. Cocks
Affiliation:
Department of Palaeontology, British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K.
W. T. Dean
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University College, Cardiff CF1 1XL, U.K.
J. K. Ingham
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, U.K.
C. J. Jenkins
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, Australian National Museum, P.O. Box 4, Canberra A.C.T. 2600, Australia
R. B. Rickards
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, U.K.
P. R. Sheldon
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University College, Cardiff CF1 1XL, U.K.
P. Toghill
Affiliation:
Department of Extra Mural Studies, Birmingham University, P.O. Box 363, Birmingham B15 2TT, U.K.
H. B. Whittington
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, U.K.
J. Zalasiewicz
Affiliation:
Institute of Geological Sciences, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, U.K.

Summary

Fission-track dating of zircons and apatites from tuffs and bentonites has produced the first isotopic ages for the type sections of the Ordovician and Silurian Systems. In the Ordovician the following ages have been determined: lower Arenig 493 Ma, lower Llanvirn 487 Ma, lower Llandeilo 477 Ma, upper Caradoc 463 Ma and upper Ashgill 434 Ma. In the Silurian, the following: lower Llandovery 437 Ma, lower Wenlock 422 Ma, upper Wenlock 414 Ma and Ludlow 407 Ma. The Ordovician-Silurian boundary is interpreted as occurring at about 436 Ma. Three North American Rocklandian bentonites yielded zircons whose ages average 453 Ma. This is about 10 Ma younger than supposedly correlative units in the British type sections.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1982

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