Argon Geochronology, Structural Geology & Tectonics

The Argon Facility of Australian National University (Click for more information)

40Ar/39Ar geochronology is a key geochronometer for many Earth Science disciplines for example timing eruptions, magmatism, fluid alteration, extinctions, impacts, orebodies and orogenies.

For tectonics and structural geologists 40Ar/39Ar geochronology is the only method that allows the direct dating of a rock fabric by examining common rock forming minerals such as white mica or K-feldspar. 40Ar/39Ar geochronology is unique in that, it allows geospeedometry - the science that concerns rate and duration of geological processes.

The RSES argon facility undertakes Ar/Ar analysis for research purposes, for students and for commercial research. Contact us for details.

Our Research(Click for more information)

This is dominantly a research laboratory where researchers from many disciplines who need 40Ar/39Ar analysis can either be in the laboratory or rely on us to do this part of the research.
We are involved in the research of scientists from the USA, Canada, UK, Indonesia, India, Greece, China, France, Germany, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Our research includes:

  • Geospeedometry - duration of processes and events
  • Dating ductile movement zones (shear zones)
  • Dating deformation
  • Dating multiply deformed and metamorphosed regions
  • Dating mineral growth events in complex sequences
  • Dating fluid alteration zones
  • Dating orebodies
  • Dating eruptions, volcanics, igneous bodies
  • Dating extinctions, impacts
  • Dating tectonic sequences of orogeny
  • Dating with Arrhenius Plots
  • Modelling of tectonic histories (T/time)


A variety of commercial research is undertaken in our laboratory, from complex diffusion experiments on feldspars to simple laser fusion analysis. We provide detailed reports for all commercial analysis. Discuss with us what your needs are. Priority scheduling is considered at increased rates. Contact us for details.


PhD, MSc and Honours students from Australia and overseas are welcome and regularly undertake their own research in our laboratory. 

Students can be fully trained in all aspects of 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology and micro- structural analysis, or students can be only partially involved as is necessary or required.