The Thermochronology research group has broad interests in the development and application of low-temperature thermochronology methods to reconstruct the thermal history of the continental crust.
The group primarily uses the techniques of fission track analysis and (U-Th-Sm)/He dating in the common phosphate accessory mineral apatite, and also other uranium-enriched minerals including zircon, titanite and monazite. The group also has strong collaborative links with other groups in the School, especially into higher temperature thermochronology systems using 40Ar/39Ar techniques with the Noble Gas Geochronology group.
The Thermochronology group conducts research across all aspects of the development of laboratory techniques, as well as their application to understanding the low-temperature history of the continental crust. Applications include continental extension tectonics, the origin and evolution of rifted continental margins, the evolution of convergent orogenic belts, sedimentary basin analysis, long-term landscape evolution, and the long-term stability of cratonic regions of the crust. We work all over the world.
The Group currently operates four comprehensively equipped laboratories for Fission Track Analysis, (U-Th)/He analysis, Laser-ablation Quadrupole ICP-Mass Spectrometry, and a Cosmogenic Isotope Target preparation.
Current research projects
- Development of automated methods of fission track analysis
- The integration of fission track methods with Laser-ablation ICP-Mass Spectrometry
- Ongoing development of (U-Th-Sm)/He methods
- Assessment of mineral standards for geothermochronology
- Extensional tectonics of the Gulf Extensional Province in NW Mexico
- The dynamic evolution of sheared continental margins in Baja California and western Tasmania
- Geodynamics and continental extension in the East African and Red Sea-Dead Sea Rift Systems, and Eastern Brazil
- Geodynamics of convergent continental settings in New Zealand, Andes, Japan, China and Canadian Cordillera
- Near-surface processes and the long-term evolution of the ancient continental nuclei in Australia, Canada, India and Finland
- The low-temperature thermal history of the Krishna-Godavari Basin in India
- The nature and evolution of sub-basin geothermal energy systems
- Effects of fluid flow on low-temperature systematics
- Dating of Quaternary volcanism