Some readers may remember TeBi adventures in Manipur earlier this year (See Rock Hunters in Manipur). After some months of sample preparation and mineral extraction, the time has come to zap our zircons in hope of retrieving igneous ages from the Manipur Ophiolitic Complex (MOC). This is usually done using some variety of mass spectrometer and our weapon of choice is the SHRIMP RG (Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe - Reverse Geometry) of the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University in Canberra.
The ophiolitic material in the MOC represents oceanic crust formed in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean prior to India's collision with Asia. As the vast majority of this oceanic material has been subducted beneath the continental crust of Asia, the ages from the MOC will give us a rare insight into the tectonic history of an ocean basin that as otherwise all but disappeared.
Many thanks to Trevor Ireland and the rest of the SHRIMP team for hosting our time there and assisting tirelessly with the analyses and data reduction.
Results will hopefully be making an appearance at this year's AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco in December. Stay tuned!