- High vacuum system consisting of dry diaphragm fore pump, hybrid turbo pump with controller, and ion pump with controller;
- Quadropole mass spectrometer (QMS); Range of mass magnitude: 1-100 amu; Detector: Faraday/passage multiplier; Detection limit: < 2×10-11 mbar; Sensitivity of Ar: > 5×10-4/200 A/mbar;
- SAES getters (2 installed, 1 spare) and getter activation power supply;
- Stainless steel high-vacuum line with automatic and manual valves;
- Automated X-Y laser stage with machine vision;
- 915 nm diode laser, lens system, power supply and safety shield;
- 3 x 3.3 litre stainless steel tanks with 3He spike, an analytical 4He standard, and a 4He reference standard;
- 25 sample capacity laser chamber with sapphire window;
- He diffusion cell option, (maximum operating T = 600°C) and integrated automation software;
- Dedicated computer system with a Windows computer interfaced to the Alphachron digital I/O system, quadrupole, laser controller, diffusion cell controller (option), CCD camera (or optical pyrometer) and xy controller;
- Solenoid system and control panel for automatic valve control
- Alphachron system software/drivers for laser automation, gas handling and measurement of radiogenic helium;
- Installation and training;
- Data reduction /alpha correction software routines and spreadsheets;
- Instrument manuals;
A powerful visual software package based on LabView allows users to create and adjust the operational sequence of the system experiments without any previous programming knowledge. An intuitive interface is included to help users manage experiments using simple textual files. These ‘scripts’ are able to control tightly all aspects of the system’s automated operation. Users can define separate scripts for each of the samples present on the sample disk, allowing multiple tests on varying samples during one automated run, without the need for user intervention, or loading/reloading of samples between tests.
An increase in the number of research institutions around the globe utilizing uranium-helium thermochronometry for applications including mineral and petroleum exploration, geohazards assessment, and continental evolution studies, has prompted demand for a world-first technology developed by CSIRO Exploration & Mining and manufactured by Applied Spectra.
Uranium-helium thermochronometry is a highly sensitive and cost-effective method of radiometric age dating that can be used to determine the thermal history of the Earth’s crust. The major benefit of this technology to the mineral resources industry lies in the ability to quantitatively determine the low temperature thermal histories of mineral belts (see references below) and petroleum basins. This data is fundamental in the exploration for deposits of minerals, as well as oil and gas.
Recent publications demonstrating the application of this technology in ore deposit research include:
McInnes, B.I.A., Evans, N..J., Fu, F.Q. and Garwin, S., 2005. Application of thermochronometry to hydrothermal ore deposits, in Reiners, P. and Ehlers, T. (Eds.), Thermochronology, Reviews in Mineralogy & Geochemistry, Vol. 58, p. 467-498 (ISSN 1529-6466).
McInnes, B.I.A., Evans, N.J., Fu, F.Q., Garwin, S., Belousova, E., Griffin, W.L., Bertens, A., Sukarna, D., Permanadewi, S., Andrew, R.L. and Deckart, K., 2005. Thermal history analysis of selected Chilean, Indonesian and Iranian porphyry Cu-Mo-Au deposits; in Porter, T.M. (Ed.), Super Porphyry Copper & Gold Deposits: A Global Perspective, Vol. 1; PGC Publishing, Adelaide, pp. 27-42.
McInnes, B.I.A., Farley, K.A., Sillitoe, R.H and Kohn, B. 1999. Application of (U-Th)/He dating to the estimation of the sense and amount of vertical fault displacement at the Chuquicamata Mine, Chile, Economic Geology 94, 937-948.