Facility: Noble Gas Geochemistry and Geochronology Laboratories

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Function: Analytical/Synthesis

Department: Earth and Space Exploration, School of


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Resources (7)

Ar-Ar detrital

Ar-Ar geochronology of detrital grains by infra-red laser

Ar-Ar furnace/laser

Ar-Ar geochronolgy with furnace/infra-red + ultra-violet lasers

Noble Gas Geochemistry of Fluids and Gases (geothermal or otherwise)

Analysis of noble gases (abundances or isotopes) extracted from a wide range of fluids. Fluids types that can be handled by the system: Ground water, geothermal/hydrothermal fluids (gas and water), natural gas (consisting mostly of methane, natural CO2. Fluids or gases need to be collected in special sample containers that minimize/rule out atmospheric contamination of the noble gas signature in the sample. The container is then attached to the noble gas extraction system of the Helix Split Flight Tube mass spectrometer and the sample is released into the system. Noble gases are isolated from other sample contents, by a process of gas clean up (using CuO, Titanium sublimator, and SAES material getters kept at or ramped to different temperatures) and cryogenic separation and analyzed in the mass spectrometer for their relative abundance and isotope geochemistry.Please contact Matthijs van Soest for more information.

Noble Gas Isotope and Abundance Measurement using High Temperature Furnace Extraction

Noble gas geochemistry (Isotope or Abundance) using a high Temperature double vacuum furnace to extract the gases from the samples. Maximum sample weight: 1-2 grams.Please contact Matthijs van Soest for more information.

Noble Gas Isotope and Abundance Measurement using In-vacuo Crushing

Noble gas geochemistry (isotope or abundance) using in-vacuo crushing to extract the noble gases from the sample. Sample should consist of >150 micron sized particles or crystals of the same composition. Maximum sample weight 1-2 grams. Setup of the crushers allows for post crushing medium-high temperature heating (~1200?C) of the crusher body to extract the remaining noble gases not extracted by crushing.Please contact Matthijs van Soest for more information.

Single Crystal (U-Th)/He dating

Single crystal (U-Th)/He geochronology: (U-Th)/He dating of euhedral, inclusion free, Th and U rich trace minerals such as Apatite, Zircon, Titanite, Monazite, Xenotime, and Rutile. Per sample 4-5 individual crystals are analyzed. Dating of other less U and Th rich minerals, such as magnetite, olivine, and in some cases garnet can be undertaken as well, but requires multiple crystals and removal of the outer layers of those crystals by abrasion to have any chance at being successful.Please contact Matthijs van Soest for more information, scheduling, and rates not shown in the rate table.

UV Laser (U-Th)/He geochronology

This method is currently under development and in the final testing phase. U and Th rich trace minerals, such as apatite, zircon, titanite, monazite, xenotime, etc., are polished and loaded into the laser chamber of the He extraction system attached to a Helix Split Flight Tube noble gas mass spectrometer. The UV laser is used to ablate small amounts of material from the interior of the polished grains which liberates He that is analyzed on the mass spectrometer. The samples are then gold coated and U and Th concentrations are determined in-situ, by secondary ionization mass spectrometer or laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The He and U and Th concentration data is used to determine the age of the sample.This method allows analysis of broken or heavily included crystals that or normally not suited for single or multi crystal (U-Th)/He dating.Please contact Matthijs van Soest for more information, scheduling, and rate information.

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