Research | Geochronology

Geochronology is the science of measuring ages, rates, and histories of geologic or planetary materials, and using these insights to understand processes and phenomena in earth and planetary science. Quantitative mWaterfalleasurements of dates and rates of events and processes provide some of the most fundamental foundations of earth and planetary science. Geochronology establishes the basis for our understanding of phenomena ranging from condensation of the solar nebula 4.6 billion years ago to the nature and pace of climate change in the last ten thousand years. While geochronology is an essential tool for nearly any field of earth and planetary science, it is also important to recognize it as a rapidly evolving and dynamic field in its own right. In the last few decades, major theoretical and technical advances in geochronology have influenced the research directions in earth and planetary research and directly driven some of the most important breakthroughs. These include advances in tectonic geomorphology, ore and petroleum migration, and climate dynamics. As geochronology continues to evolve, it continues to not only inform and support the diverse fields that draw from it, but it plays a major role in influencing their courses and interactions. 


Barbara Carrapa - Tectonics

Mihai Ducea - Tectonics

George Gehrels - Tectonics, geochronology

Tim Jull - Cosmogenic isotopes

Jonathan Patchett (Emeritus)- Isotope geochemistry

Jay Quade - Paleoclimate, stable isotopes, soil geochemistry

Peter Reiners - Geochemistry, thermochronology, applications in earth & planetary science

Joaquin Ruiz - Geochemistry

Faculty in other departments
Jeff Dean
Mike Evans

Malcolm Hughes
David Killick
Steven Kuhn
Steven Leavitt
Tom Swetnam
Tim Swindle

Ron Towner


John Chesley - Geochemistry
David Dettman - Light Stable Isotopes
Chris Eastoe - Isotope Geochemistry, Economic Geology
Clark Isachsen - Noble gas geochemistry
Nathaniel Lifton - Isotope geochemistry, cosmogenic isotopes

Facilities, Equipment, and Resources

Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory
Arizona Radiogenic Helium Dating Laboratory
Environmental Isotope Laboratory

Fission Track Laboratory (Stuart Thomson)
Geochronology and Thermochronology Laboratory (Barbara Carrapa, Peter Reiners, Stuart Thomson)
LaserChron Center