Zircon and other accessory minerals are extensively used for dating geological processes. We are investigating how different processes affect trace element mobility in these minerals, thereby giving a greater understanding of the controls on element migration and allowing us to broaden the application of mineral dating. Our principal targets are deformed and/or high temperature zircon and monazite samples that record element transfer at the nanoscale.
Ore Deposits and Distal Footprints
The distribution of precious metals in gangue minerals and the use of trace element distributions in pathfinder minerals are two aspects of ore deposit evolution that we still don't understand. Working with members of the SIEF Distal Footprints research program, we are using atom probe to understand the processes of element migration associated with ore deposits
Meteorites and Planetary Sciences
Meteorites record microstructural and geochemical data that provide a wealth of information about the processes taking place during the evolution of the solar system. We are working with the Desert Fireball Network and members of SSERVI to understand these processes. We are also studying the effects of impacts on crustal rocks to better recognise, understand and utilise the geochemical information locked in terrestrial shocked minerals.
Specimen needle manufacture in the FIB and atom probe data acquisition involve a number of instrument variables that can greatly affect the quality and amount of data that is collected. We are using a range of testing protocols to optimise data collection from minerals and adapt the atom probe methodology for geological samples.
We will post examples of our results in the near future