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(U‑TH)/HE Laboratory (UTHHE)

Our laboratory is equipped with a house-build ultra-high vacuum system for extraction, purification and measuring 4He isotopes in apatite and zircon grains. This system includes:

·         45 W diode laser for thermal extraction of 4He

·         All metal gas extraction and purification line with Janis cryogenic pump and two SAES getters

·         Pneumatic valves controlled by solenoid system

·         3 l stainless steel tanks for spikes and standards equipped with precise volume pipets for delivering these spikes and standards

·         Pfiffer Vacuum Prisma Quad mass-spectrometer for precise measurements of 3He/4He ratios.

All components of our He extraction system are controlled by computer. Our software package is based on LabVIEW and allows fully automated analyses of samples, blanks, and standards 24/7 without human interaction.


Optimal apatite and zircon grains are selected using stereoscopic polarising microscope and the shape analyses is performed by software.


Current Research

·         Landscape evolution of the East Canada and Artic rim Atlantic margin (Coutand, MUN, GAC)

·         Exhumation kinematics of the Eastern Himalaya (Coutand, Grujic)

·         Shear Zone reactivation and mineralisation in Yukon (Kellett , Coutand)

·         Exhumation and glaciations in the Patagonian Andes, Chile and Argentina (Coutand)

·         Exhumation of the Bundelkhand massif, Central India (Coutand)

·         Tectonic development of the Neuquen Andes, Argentina (Coutand)


Graduate Theses

Landry K. R. (2014) Neogene Exhumation of the Sikkim Himalaya from (U-Th)/He Thermochronology and 3-D Thermo-kinematic Modelling. M.Sc. Thesis. Dalhousie University

Antinao, J.-L. 2008 Quaternary landscape evolution of the southern Central Andes of Chile, quantified using landslide inventories, 10Be and 36Cl cosmogenic isotopes, and (U-Th)/He thermochronology. Ph.D. thesis. Department of Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax

Grist, A. (2004) Aspects of the thermal history of the eastern margin of Canada based on apatite fission track and (U-Th)/He thermochronology. Ph.D. Thesis, Dalhousie University, 422p.


Honours Theses

Landry, K. R. (2010) Pliocene exhumation of the Trumsing La area (Eastern Himalaya, Kingdom of Bhutan) Using U-Th-Sm/He thermochronology. Honours Thesis, Dalhousie University.

Buckley, R. (2009) Application of (U-Th-Sm)/He Analysis in Apatite: Assessing the Effect of Salt Structures on Sverdrup Basin Rocks, Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut. Honours Thesis, Dalhousie University, 78 p.

Yaehne, S. (2008) Apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He Thermochronology of the Eastern Arctic Rim: Evolution of the North-Central Baffin Island Rifted Margin. Honours thesis. Department of Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax.



(* indicates student-authored paper)

*Landry, K. R., Coutand, I., Whipp Jr, D. M., Grujic, D., Hourigan, J. K. (2016) Late Neogene tectonically driven crustal exhumation of the Sikkim Himalaya: Insights from inversion of multithermochronologic data. Tectonics, 35, 3, 833–859, doi: 10.1002/2015TC004102

Coutand, I., Whipp Jr., D. M., Grujic, D., Bernet, M., Fellin, M. G., Bookhagen, B., *Landry, K. R., Ghalley, S. K. and Duncan, C. (2014) Geometry and kinematics of the Main Himalayan Thrust and Neogene crustal exhumation in the Bhutanese Himalaya derived from inversion of multithermochronologic data, 
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 119, 1446–1481, doi:10.1002/2013JB010891.

*Kellett, D.A., Grujic, D., Coutand, I., Cottle, J. and Mukul, M.  (2013) The South Tibetan detachment system, Sikkim Himalaya facilitates rapid cooling, not rapid exhumation. Tectonics. 32, 2, 252–270, doi:10.1002/tect.20014.