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The Stanford Noble Gas Laboratory produces high-quality 40Ar/39Ar & (U-Th)/He data for geochronologic & thermochronologic applications in the Earth Sciences.  The laboratory is open to all Stanford researchers to perform their own analyses under the supervision of laboratory personnel.  Based upon time availability researchers from other institutions may also gain access to the laboratory. All potential users must submit a request form.

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Laboratory News

We have developed a new reference gas for standardizing 40Ar/39Ar measurements made with a multicollector array.  This gas was prepared at the USGS in collaboration with Andy Calvert (USGS) and Dawn Kellet (Canadian Geologic Survey).  The gas mixture was optimized from that previously described in Coble et al. (2011).

The Stanford Noble Gas Laboratory has begun a new project in collaboration with Dr. Jeremy Hourigan of UC Santa Cruz (Hourigan does system automation on a consulting basis via Santa Cruz Laser Microfurnace) to design and implement a new extraction line and instrument control system based upon National Instruments CompactRIO hardware.

Research Highlights

During the Late Cretaceous to early Cenozoic, southern California was underplated by subducted sediments as the western margin of the arc and inner part of the forearc basin were simultaneously removed from the margin.

Gail Mahood's group is studying silicic volcanism associated with the main phase of Steens and Columbia River flood basalt eruptions between 16.7 and 15.0 Ma. During this period, ca. 3900 km3 of silicic magma erupted from centers dispersed across 25,000 km2 of the Pacific northwest.

Clastic sedimentary sequences shed from orogenic belts provide a fertile, and arguably unique, record of crustal exhumation. A spectrum of closure ages yielded by detrital grains from a dated sedimentary horizon contains information on the distribution of crustal depths exposed in a basement source region at the corresponding time of erosion.