The effect of simultaneous temperature, pressure and stress on the experimental annealing of spontaneous fission tracks in apatite: a brief overview
Tracks made in minerals by the electronic stopping Of uranium fission fragments provide a modern geological dating tool, and are believed also to yield specific information on the low-temperature thermal history of rocks. Experimental work showing that the damaged crystal lattice along a fission track recovers primarily as a function of temperature ignored the fact that the basic theory of atomic diffusion requires an exponential decrease in the intrinsic diffusion coefficient with increasing pressure. Here, fission track recovery was experimentally investigated in basic apatite under the simultaneous influences of temperature, pressure and stress. We show that track facing is a complex recovery mechanism responding to several environmental physical parameters simultaneously. In particular a strong decrease in the track recovery rate was observed as a function of increasing pressure. And a nearly temperature-independent recovery was observed in samples Under stress.