Degree Name

Master of Philosophy


School of Earth and Environmental Sciences


This project focused on the study of oxygen-isotope variations in iron (III) oxides and their corresponding clays during their formation in selected weathered profiles of the Australian regolith.

The aim of this project was to study oxygen-isotope fractionation in iron ferric oxides and clay minerals during regolith weathering in southern Australia. For this study, samples with high iron ferric oxide content were separated from clay-rich samples. Many physical, chemical and technical procedures including physical abrasion on sample exteriors, crushing, high gradient magnetic separation, clay settling analysis, and chemical treatments have been employed to ensure that the iron ferric oxides and associated clays are as pure as possible. Also an oxygen extraction vacuum line with associated purification techniques was constructed to extract and present the samples’ oxygen content to a mass spectrometer to measure its isotopic ratio.