Some Calculations Relevant to Thermal Annealing of Fission Tracks in Apatite
Calculations in stochastic geometry are applied to the geological problem of analysing the statistical distribution of fission tracks in an apatite crystal, when information is available only by plane sampling. The feature of particular interest is the effect of anisotropy, in the sense of dependence of track length on orientation. Using a realistic Poisson line-segment model, we obtain formulae for the density of line segments intersecting an arbitrary plane and for the length distributions of confined tracks, semi-tracks and projected semi-tracks in terms of the conditional distribution of length given orientation. These formulae are used to explain and quantify the effect of anisotropy seen in experimental data from fission track annealing studies. We argue that track orientations, in addition to lengths, carry potentially useful information. For confined tracks, we recommend that both length and angle to the c-axis be measured as routine practice. For projected semi-tracks, where it is much harder to extract useful information from the observed length distribution, the measurement of angle, in addition to length, may prove fruitful, particularly when confined tracks are scarce.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A
- Pub Date:
- October 1988