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Uncovering the low temperature thermal history of Queen Mary Land, Antarctica

Step into the footsteps of Douglas Mawson and uncover when the Antarctic margins exhumed to the surface.

Gplates of Southern Gondwana

Gplates reconstruction of southern Gondwana at 170 Ma with indication of existing fission track data sample locations (blue dots are from the Adelaide lab). View larger image.

Step into the footsteps of Douglas Mawson and other great South Australian Antarctic explorers and work on their samples taken from unique places within Antarctica to reveal the low-temperature thermal history of Queen Mary Land, Antarctica. In addition, work on drill core samples from the basement under sedimentary cover of the Nullarbor Plain.

Very little is known about the thermal evolution and exhumation history of both areas. This study will apply apatite U-Pb and fission track thermochronology to reconstruct the thermotectonic history of Queen Mary Land and the Coompana Province, which occupy critical regions at the interface between Archean and Proterozoic lithospheric domains.

The project will potentially lead to the recognition of as yet undiscovered tectonic events, stored in the apatite record.  This is a unique opportunity to explore largely untouched territory using archived samples, and may provide further opportunity for a PhD study on the low-temperature thermal evolution of the Antarctic continent.

This project involves:

  • Mineral separation and apatite mounting
  • Semi-automated apatite double-dating (with Autoscan microscope + LAICPMS facilities)
  • Thermal history modelling and integration with heat flow models

Stijn Glorie


Dr Stijn Glorie, Professor Martin Hand and Dr Derrick Hasterok

Research area: Mineral and energy systems, Tectonics and solid earth processes

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Geology

Tagged in Honours projects - Geology, Honours Projects - Stijn Glorie, Honours Projects - Martin Hand, Honours Projects - Derrick Hasterok

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition