Laser Tool Reveals Earth's 'Helium Secrets' to Help Monitor Natural Disasters

Researchers from Australia's Curtin University have for the first time been able to visualize where helium atoms are trapped within individual mineral grains - providing information that can help to determine the geological history of the Earth's crust, and assist in monitoring natural hazards like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Their research, published in Science , combines laser ablation microsampling and noble gas and trace element mass spectrometry to provide the first two-dimensional, grain-scale zircon helium 'maps.'