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A reporting protocol for thermochronologic modeling illustrated with data from the Grand Canyon

Flowers, Rebecca M. and Farley, Kenneth A. and Ketcham, Richard A. (2015) A reporting protocol for thermochronologic modeling illustrated with data from the Grand Canyon. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 432 . pp. 425-435. ISSN 0012-821X.

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Apatite (U–Th)/He and fission-track dates, as well as ^4He/^3He and fission-track length data, provide rich thermal history information. However, numerous choices and assumptions are required on the long road from raw data and observations to potentially complex geologic interpretations. This paper outlines a conceptual framework for this path, with the aim of promoting a broader understanding of how thermochronologic conclusions are derived. The tiered structure consists of thermal history model inputs at Level 1, thermal history model outputs at Level 2, and geologic interpretations at Level 3. Because inverse thermal history modeling is at the heart of converting thermochronologic data to interpretation, for others to evaluate and reproduce conclusions derived from thermochronologic results it is necessary to publish all data required for modeling, report all model inputs, and clearly and completely depict model outputs. Here we suggest a generalized template for a model input table with which to arrange, report and explain the choice of inputs to thermal history models. Model inputs include the thermochronologic data, additional geologic information, and system- and model-specific parameters. As an example we show how the origin of discrepant thermochronologic interpretations in the Grand Canyon can be better understood by using this disciplined approach.

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Farley, Kenneth A.0000-0002-7846-7546
Additional Information:© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Received in revised form 29 September 2015; Accepted 30 September 2015; Available online 21 October 2015. Supported by NSF EAR-1144500 and EAR-1126991. We thank Todd Ehlers and Lon Abbott for insightful comments on the manuscript.
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Subject Keywords:thermochronology; thermal history modeling; (U–Th)/He; fission-track; Grand Canyon; apatite
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160107-131302811
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Official Citation:Rebecca M. Flowers, Kenneth A. Farley, Richard A. Ketcham, A reporting protocol for thermochronologic modeling illustrated with data from the Grand Canyon, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 432, 15 December 2015, Pages 425-435, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:63454
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Jan 2016 21:38
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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