IsoplotR: a free and open toolbox for geochronology

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Authors Pieter Vermeesch
Journal/Conference Name Geoscience Frontiers
Paper Category
Paper Abstract This paper reviews the basic principles of radiometric geochronology as implemented in a new software package called IsoplotR , which was designed to be free, flexible and future-proof. IsoplotR is free because it is written in non-proprietary languages ( R , Javascript and HTML ) and is released under the GPL license. The program is flexible because its graphical user interface (GUI) is separated from the command line functionality, and because its code is completely open for inspection and modification. To increase future-proofness, the software is built on free and platform-independent foundations that adhere to international standards, have existed for several decades, and continue to grow in popularity. IsoplotR currently includes functions for U-Pb, Pb-Pb, 40 Ar/ 39 Ar, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, Re-Os, U-Th-He, fission track and U-series disequilibrium dating. It implements isochron regression in two and three dimensions, visualises multi-aliquot datasets as cumulative age distributions, kernel density estimates and radial plots, and calculates weighted mean ages using a modified Chauvenet outlier detection criterion that accounts for the analytical uncertainties in heteroscedastic datasets. Overdispersion of geochronological data with respect to these analytical uncertainties can be attributed to either a proportional underestimation of the analytical uncertainties, or to an additive geological scatter term. IsoplotR keeps track of error correlations of the isotopic ratio measurements within aliquots of the same samples. It uses a statistical framework that will allow it to handle error correlations between aliquots in the future. Other ongoing developments include the implementation of alternative user interfaces and the integration of IsoplotR with other data reduction software.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language R

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