We work all over the world


Since the inception of our group, we have worked all across our planet investigating the thermal and tectonic evolution of continental crust.

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Key Methodological Advances

The Melbourne Thermochronology Group has led, or been closely involved in, many key advances in the development and application of fission track dating and thermochronology methods since the 1970s. In addition to numerous geological application studies, these have included:

  • Development of routine analytical procedures for ~100µm scale grains of apatite, zircon and titanite (1970s)

  • First recognition of the influence continental rifting on regional fission track age patterns (1978)

  • Standardization of fission tack data reporting (1979)

  • Universal adoption of the External Detector Method for all mineral systems (1981)

  • Applications to basin analysis and hydrocarbon maturation (1981, 1983, 1989)

  • Establishing the statistical basis for track length distribution studies (1982)

  • Developing the fundamental principles of fission track interpretation that combined fission track ages with track lengths (1983)

  • Development of the first computer-controlled microscope stage systems for mirror image matching of mineral grains and eternal detectors (1985)

  • Demonstration that horizontal confined track length measurements are crucial indicators of past fission track annealing (1986)

  • Adoption of empirical calibrations for fission track methods against age standards (1983)

  • First identification of composition control on fission track annealing in apatite (1985)

  • Identification of uplifted Partial Annealing Zones in mountain ranges (1987)

  • Development of the first practical thermal annealing models for routine reconstruction of rock thermal histories (1987, 1989)

  • Integration of approaches as ‘Fission Track Thermochronology’ (1990-1991)

  • Applications to the evolution of metamorphic core complexes (1993)

  • Constructing the first continental-scale thermo-tectonic image of Australia (2002)

  • Routine integration of apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He (AHe) thermochronology methods (2004)

  • Development of the first practical image analysis routines for the automatic counting of fission tracks (2006, 2009)

  • Optical detection of apatite grains and orientations for fission track analysis (2009)

  • integration of laser-ablation ICP-MS and automated fission track analysis (LAFT) methods (2010)

  • First comprehensive system for Automated Fission track Imaging and Analysis (AFTIA) (2016)

  • First studies of three-dimensional measurements of confined fission tracks in apatite (2018)

  • Development of automated methods for measurement of semi-track lengths and orientations (2018)

  • Development of monazite as an ultra-low temperature thermochronometer (2019)

  • Development of major cloud-based data systems for fission track thermochronology (2019-20)



Read our work

Find the conference proceedings, research articles, textbook chapters and books that we have published pertaining to methodological and applied studies on our Google Scholar profile.