Project information

  • Project: Development of the first 4He/3He thermochronology facility in Europe. 
  • Project date: 01 January, 2021 – 31 December, 2022
  • Postdoctoral Researcher: Cody Lee Colleps

Project Highlight

  • Develop protocols for sample irradiation and acquisition of 4He/3He datasets.
  • Advance the efficiency and accessibility of 4He/3He thermochronology.
  • Establish a world-leading 4He/3He laboratory.

4He/3He Thermochronology

Ultra-low temperature, high-resolution 4He/3He thermochronology provides a means to fully exploit the temporal and thermal information preserved within U-bearing accessory minerals such as apatite. With 4He/3He thermochronology, high resolution thermal models can be derived from a single grain from a single sample, and exceptionally high-resolution models can be extracted from a suite of samples (e.g., age-elevation transects). Thermal models with such high-resolution and fidelity are required to address many of the geologic enigmas that are of central focus to the COOLER project. Accordingly, this component of the COOLER project aims to set up protocols for routine proton irradiations and efficient production of 4He/3He datasets of exceptionally high quality and resolution. The 4He/3He methodology is currently under development at the University of Potsdam, and will be the first laboratory of its kind in Europe.