Apatite fission track dating
We have a mineral separation lab for concentrating apatite and zircon, and we maintain facilities for mounting, polishing and etching the samples.We date the samples using the external detector method.First, the EDM was recognised as the first geochronological method capable of routinely producing single grain age estimates, leading to the development of detrital geochronology.Second, it is least affected by the presence of uranium zoning.
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Due to the high thermal stability of tracks in zircon, ZFTA can also be used as a simple dating tool in stratigraphic applications where conventional radiometric techniques are inadequate.
For example, direct determinations of the age of highly weathered igneous rocks and tuffs are possible because zircon is resistant to severe weathering conditions.
Like apatites, zircons are a common detrital constituent of medium to coarse grained clastic sediments.
The zircon grains originate as accessory minerals in igneous or metamorphic rocks, and as they are very stable during erosion and transport, they are a common sedimentary constituent.
This detector is subsequently etched and counted separately (Fleischer and Hart, 1972; Hurford and Green, 1983; Hurford, 1990).