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Resolving the stratigraphy of the McArthur Basin via in-situ Rb-Sr dating of glauconites

Australian Proterozoic Basins

Australian Proterozoic Basins

This project will use a new technology, specifically our recently installed triple quadrupole (QQQ) instrument (Agilent 8900) coupled with a laser ablation (LA).

This recently established LA-QQQ approach allows for quick and precise Rb-Sr isotope dating of selected authigenic minerals, specifically glauconites.

Reliable dating of igneous and sedimentary rocks is essential for the calibration of geological time scale and for the absolute age determination of major tectonic and depositional events throughout the Earth’s history.

Such geochronological constraints are particularly important for the studies and exploration of Proterozoic basins, which cannot rely on biostratigraphy due to a lack of reliable macrofossil record.

The intra-basin correlation and burial histories in Proterozoic basins, such as the McArthur Basin in Northern Territory (NT), can be constrained via dating of selected authigenic minerals, which readily form either during the sediment depositions (i.e. glauconite), and/or the later stages of sediment diagenesis (i.e. illite).

Agilent 8900 triple quadrupole ICP MS

Agilent 8900 triple quadrupole ICP MS

Overall, this project will involve both laboratory and fieldwork (i.e. sampling of rocks/minerals in NT), and the acquired data will add to the stratigraphy and intra-basin correlation of the McArthur Basin, relevant to Earth system evolution studies and hydrocarbon exploration.

You will also benefit from interactions with our industry partners, as well as PhD students and researchers in our research group.


NTGS (Ch. Edgoose), SANTOS Ltd. (S. Menpes), Agilent (F. Fryer), Uni. Gothenburg (T. Zack); funded via ARC Linkage project


There are no specific prerequisite courses, although completion of either Geochemistry II or Earth Systems History III would be beneficial. 

Tagged in Honours projects - Geology, Honours Projects - Morgan Blades, Honours Projects - Alan Collins, Honours Projects - Juraj Farkas