Exploring potential and limitations of ultrahigh-precision U-Pb dating

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The goal of this project is to enhance our ability to solve geological problems with more precise and accurate isotopic dating. Geochronology allows us to determine which of the geological events close in time occurred first, and thus to constrain their causal relations.

With precision of dating of 0.1-0.2 million years, we can verify the links between mass extinctions and impact events or catastrophic volcanic eruptions, pinpoint geological processes responsible for formation of major ore deposits, and solve other important scientific and practical problems, which cannot be solved reliably with 20-50 times less precise microbeam techniques, currently adopted by the Australian geological community.

The student who undertakes this project will comprehensively evaluate the accuracy (and various possible causes of inaccuracy) in U-Pb dating at the new level of precision, in order to establish a procedure for routine dating of Precambrian zircon and other minerals with precision and accuracy.

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