The Goldschmidt laboratory will be an integrated state of the art geochemical infrastructure to serve the Norwegian research community dependent on high quality microanalytical data and high precision geochronology, and will modernize the analytical facilities necessary to continue the development of Norway’s foremost research groups within solid Earth dynamics. Goldschmidt I represents the geochronological part of this laboratory.
The Goldschmidt laboratory will foster national and international research collaborations on cutting-edge themes in the broad field of the solid-earth geosciences, such as the calibration of geological time scale, and the time scales of mountain building processes and of other major tectonic, magmatic, volcanic, and ore-forming processes. The new instruments available in the Goldschmidt laboratory will achieve the high precision and high accuracy necessary to untangle the detailed temporal resolution of short lived geological processes that originate in the Earth’s interiors and that have potential correlations with environmental crises in the history of the Earth. These include, for example, the precise dating of major volcanic events, the detailed temporal resolution of past climate and evolutionary trends, and the resolution of complex magmatic and metamorphic processes at shorter time scales. The Goldschmidt Lab will also generate new geochemical data relevant for our understanding and exploitation of mineral resources.
The goal of this project is to establish the high-level geochemical research infrastructure required to keep the University of Oslo and Norway at the international forefront of solid Earth geosciences. This will also involve improved local and national coordination of geochemistry-based basic and applied research, through a collaboration between the Department of Geoscience at the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Geological Survey (NGU), and other Norwegian partners and collaborators. This infrastructure is central in the strategic plans of the partners and will provide data that are essential for both research projects and geological mapping involving a wide range of geoscience disciplines.
R&D challenges include:
• Calibration of the geologic time scale, testing correlations and causal relations between magmatic events, climate change and mass extinctions
• Constraining the time scales of rapid (<100 ka) tectonic, magmatic, metamorphic and ore-forming processes as well as the dynamic coupling between such processes
• Studies of natural carbon release and sequestration processes
On the applied side, the mapping and mineral resource assessment mandates of the Norwegian Geological Survey require acquisition of high-quality geochronological, isotopic, and mineralogical data to characterize the formation of crustal sections, tectonic evolution of orogens, the stratigraphic correlations between lithological units, the genesis of ore deposits, and the formation of industrial mineral deposits.