The noble gases helium, neon, argon, krypton and xenon are chemically inert and have, because of their volatile nature, a strong tendency to gas or fluid and melt phases, thus they are valuable tracers for the origin and the transport of fluids.
Because they are produced by radioactive decay or natural nuclear reactions, noble gases can be used as dating tools (e.g. U/Th-4He, 40K-40Ar, surface exposure dating). Over the history of the Earth, such processes have modified the noble gas isotopic compositions in distinct terrestrial reservoirs (mantle, crust, atmosphere). Therefore, the isotopic signature of noble gases yields important information about the origin and history of rocks and fluids.
Associated and finished projects:
- Exploiting the Genomic Record of living Biota to Reconstruct the Landscape Evolution of South Central Africa
- ICDP: Gas geochemistry in the Alpine Fault, New Zealand