Electron microprobe monazite ages from a tin placer deposit on Bangka Island, Indonesia

F. Deon

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A first attempt of Electron microprobe (EMP) based Th-U-total Pb in situ dating of monazites in tailings from a placer deposit (quartz bearing sands) from Bangka Island, Indonesia, revealed for the first time from a single locality in Indonesia an age cluster around 231 Ma as well as two single grains with ages of 1133 Ma and 1916 Ma. The monazite ages from this study agree with detrital zircon ages and whole rock isochron ages from magmatic intrusions, which were reported from various localities all over the Malaysian peninsula, Myanmar and Thailand but not yet from Bangka Island. Perhaps intrusions in the closer vicinity, which could be the source of the monazite under study, have not been discovered so far or the sedimentary catchment area of the placer deposit is much larger than assumed so far. The existence of the monazite ages investigated in this study may also raise the question of the paleogeographic position of Bangka Island and the relative timing of sedimentation and Miocene rifting. However, the present work is an excellent example for the resistance of monazite and its Th-U-Pb system to sedimentary processes and hence is a useful tool for provenance studies and source of Rare Earth Element (REEs) recovery. An important outcome of this study is that sedimentary monazite relics often provide a wide range of unrealistic ages. Such dates may be wrongly explained in terms of recrystallization along with metasomatic process, instead these ages are only a methodic artefact because monazite relics are either not thick enough for dating or show poor surfaces with numerous cracks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104844
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Asian earth sciences
Early online date2 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


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