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Radiometric dating techniques can be used to determine the time elapsed since an event caused the fractionation of the radioactive parent isotope from its daughter isotope. Such datable fractionation events include rock or mineral formation during magma cooling, mineral crystallisation or formation during diagenesis or metamorphism, or isolation of the parent from a well-mixed reservoir (i.e. radiocarbon dating).

The chemistry of the parent and daughter element and its behaviour during such fractionation events must therefore be well understood if the technique is to be correctly applied. Each of the geochronology techniques outlined below have specific geological, biological and analytical requirements, with the half-life of the radioactive parent providing an estimate of the time scale over which the technique may be usefully applied.

Follow the links for further information on any of the following:

Radioactivity and geochronology
K-Ca, K-Ar and Ar-Ar
Mineral U-Th/Pb
Cosmogenic nuclides
Radiocarbon dating
U-series dating
Ion probe analysis
Data processing and specialist software
Mineral seperation procedures
Teaching and specialist courses


We are the experienced professionals in geochronology and isotope analysis

We can prepare and/or deliver courses (at any level) to your colleagues or students, assist you to conduct field sampling, process your samples to ensure you get the best outcomes, set up your new mineral processing and/or analytical lab, train your technical staff, write custom data analysis software packages, advise about the best technique for your geochronology problem or solve your geochronology problem.