Banner: Waimakariri River, New Zealand (photo: A. Dosseto 2011)
The Wollongong Isotope Geochronology Laboratory (WIGL) implements isotopic and geochemical techniques to study geological and biological processes. It provides tools for applications to Quaternary and early Earth environmental studies, archaeological and biomedical sciences. Research themes are diverse:
Earth’s surface processes and their role on global geochemical cycles
- Soil formation, weathering rates and sediment transport times using uranium-series isotopes in soil and sediments;
- Catchment-wide erosion rates and rock outcrop exposure ages using in-situ cosmogenic beryllium-10.
Links between past climate change and Earth surface processes
- Catchment erosion using uranium isotopes in sedimentary deposits;
- Chemical weathering conditions and pedogenesis using lithium and boron isotopes in sedimentary deposits.
Quaternary climate and environments
- Chronology of speleothems and corals using U-Th dating;
- Isotopes and trace elements in speleothems to re-construct palaeo-environments;
- Chronology of ice sheet evolution using in-situ cosmogenic beryllium-10.
Isotopic applications to archaeological sciences
- Chronology of archaeological artefacts and speleothems using U-Th dating;
- Provenance of material of archaeological significance using Sr and Nd isotopes;
- Tropic chain and palaeo-diet using trace elements and Ca isotopes.
Biomedical research: the role of metals in the development of neurodegenerative diseases and other pathologies
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease studied using copper isotopes;
- Depression in rodent models studied using copper and lithium isotopes.