[Ratschbacher] Apatite fission-track geothermochronology: Methodical experiments on samples from ICDP drill holes
German Title: Apatite fission-track geothermochronology: Methodical experiments on samples from ICDP drill holes
Current Status: completed
Main Applicant:Prof. Dr. Lothar Ratschbacher
Prof. Dr. Helmut Schäben
The results of apatite fission-track modelling are only as accurate as the method, and depend on the hypothesis that the processes involved in the annealing of fossil tracks over geological times are the same as those responsible for the annealing of induced fission tracks in laboratory experiments. This has hitherto been assumed rather than demonstrated. The first aim of the project is to establish whether or not the geological predictions of apatite fission-track modelling are accurate. The methodical and geological evidence indicates that this is not the case, but also that the sources of error can be investigated by methodical experiments on samples from deep boreholes, the natural laboratories in which annealing over geological times can be studied. The second aim is to recalibrate the fundamental equations of apatite fission-track modelling, based on the results of the borehole experiments. This methodical research requires the development of powerful modelling software that will also be useful for future geological applications of apatite fission-track modelling. In the first year of the project, samples from the ICDP locality KTB (Germany) will be investigated, extensions in the second and third year will involve samples from other ICDP boreholes.