Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 263–267 | Cite as

A routine high-precision method for Lu-Hf isotope geochemistry and chronology

  • P. J. Patchett
  • M. Tatsumoto


A method for chemical separation of Lu and Hf from rock, meteorite and mineral samples is described, together with a much improved mass spectrometric running technique for Hf. This allows (i) geo- and cosmochronology using the176Lu→176Hf+β decay scheme, and (ii) geochemical studies of planetary processes in the earth and moon.

Chemical yields for the three-stage ion-exchange column procedure average 90% for Hf. Chemical blanks are <0.2 ng for Lu and Hf. From 1 μg of Hf, a total ion current of 0.5×10−11 Ampere can be maintained for 3–5 h, yielding 0.01–0.03% precision on the ratio176Hf/177Hf. Normalisation to179Hf/177Hf=0.7325 is used.

Extensive results for the Johnson Matthey Hf standard JMC 475 are presented, and this sample is urged as an international mass spectrometric standard; suitable aliquots, prepared from a single batch of JMC 475, are available from Denver.

Lu-Hf analyses of the standard rocks BCR-1 and JB-1 are given. The potential of the Lu-Hf method in isotope geochemistry is assessed.


Chemical Separation Chemical Yield Isotope Geochemistry International Mass Decay Scheme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Patchett
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Tatsumoto
    • 1
  1. 1.US Geological SurveyDenver Federal CenterDenverUSA
  2. 2.Colorado School of MinesGoldenUSA

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