New U-Pb (ID-TIMS and LA-ICPMS) and 40Ar/39Ar geochronological constraints of the Cretaceous geologic time scale calibration from Hokkaido (Japan)

X. Quidelleur, J. L. Paquette, N. Fiet, R. Takashima, M. Tiepolo, D. Desmares, H. Nishi, D. Grosheny

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12 Citations (Scopus)


We present new radiometric ages in order to constrain the calibration of the Cretaceous time scale. They have been obtained from volcanic tuffs sampled at Hokkaido (Japan) within the Northwest Pacific marine succession of the Yezo Group, and are compared with ages from the Western Interior and Boreal basins. The good coherency between the U-Pb, 40Ar/39Ar and K/Ar chronometers when applied simultaneously and their comparison with previous determinations, argue for the previously proposed global synchronicity of biotic events. The U-Pb ages allow us to identify that a thermal event has affected some of the K/Ar ages through argon diffusion. Furthermore, the very low uncertainties associated with the U-Pb ages argue for the use of this technique for calibrating the geologic time scale. We obtain an age of 84.9±0.2Ma from the base of the Campanian, which provides an upper bound for the Santonian-Campanian limit. The Cenomanian-Turonian limit is dated here at 94.3±0.3Ma using U-Pb applied to zircons from the North-Pacific basin, and at 94.2±1.0Ma using 40Ar/39Ar applied to a Western Interior basin tuff. The Albian-Cenomanian is constrained here between 99.7±0.3 and 99.7±1.3Ma using, the ID-TIMS and LA-ICPMS U-Pb techniques, respectively. The age of 112.6±1.1Ma proposed here for the Aptian-Albian limit is supported by both 40Ar/39Ar and K-Ar data.Finally, the approach followed here combining the U-Pb and K/Ar and 40Ar/39Ar isotopic dating allowed us to limit the systematic biases inherent to each approach. The very low absolute uncertainties associated with the U-Pb ages, further reinforces the use of this technique for calibrating the Cretaceous time scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-83
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul 22


  • 40Ar/39Ar
  • Geologic time scale
  • K-Ar
  • U-Pb
  • Upper Cretaceous
  • Yezo Group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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