In 1995, a Sensitive High Resolution Ion MicroProbe (SHRIMP) was installed at the Geological Survey of Canada’s Ottawa headquarters to advance geochronological investigations of the Canadian landmass and its resources. A unique instrument in Canada, it is one of only 15 worldwide. The SHRIMP is designed for in situ isotopic and chemical analysis by the bombardment of samples with a beam of ions.
SHRIMP significantly advanced geochronological research in two ways. First, it was a non-destructive method capable of analysing a large number of samples in a relatively short amount of time, providing efficient acquisition of large datasets. Second, in situ, high spatial resolution analysis improved the accuracy of age interpretations by directly linking age data to other mineralogical and petrological characteristics of a sample.
SHRIMP has contributed to many diverse projects over the years, including dating the Acasta Gneiss (the oldest rock in the world), tracing the source of lead in walrus teeth, and dating the formation of various mineral deposits.
The laboratory is named in memory of J.C. Roddick, the Survey research scientist who spearheaded the acquisition of SHRIMP, and who tragically died in a skiing accident just prior to the opening of the facility.
Category: Equipment and Instrumentation