Archaean granite-greenstone evolution

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The aims of the project are: (i) to determine the relationship between mafic and felsic volcanism, (ii) to test whether greenstones can be correlated across terrane boundaries, and (iii) to develop a model for the evolution of 2.7 Ga granite-greenstone terranes in the light of the new dates and geochemical data, and if possible, their relationship to gold mineralization.

The centrepiece of the project will be the production of the first ultra-high precision dates of zircons and baddeleyites extracted from Archaean greenstones of the Yilgarn craton, Western Australia. The expected precision is better than ± 0.5 Myr compared with ±5 Myr current available through SHRIMP. The speed at which the crust evolved we can be used to test hypothesis for evolution of granite-greenstone terranes.

The project will also involve Hf isotopes in zircon by LA-ICP-MS, oxygen isotope analysis of zircons by SHRIMP, Nd and Sr isotope analyses of rocks and minerals, and trace element analyses.

The project is funded by ARC and forms part of a larger Monash-ANU project.

The student will carry out ultra-high precision dating and isotopic analyses. This will require high level of laboratory aptitude, and sufficient knowledge of geochemistry for interpretation of geochronological and isotopic data. The project will also involve working in the field at several different mining camps in Western Australia, mainly with diamond drill core, so you will need to be a good observer.

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