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The occurrence of synkinematic and authigenic clay minerals is a common feature in fault gouges. We present the first age data in Australia for synkinematic illite–smectite growth in two fault zones of the northern Sydney Basin, NSW.

The faults occur at Burwood Beach, NSW in the northern part of the Sydney Basin and are hosted by Early Permian siltstones, tuffs and coals of the Lambton Formation, Newcastle Coal Measures.

These each have 19 protons and 21 neutrons in their nucleus.

By comparing the proportion of K-40 to Ar-40 in a sample of volcanic rock, and knowing the decay rate of K-40, the date that the rock formed can be determined.

Potassium (K) is one of the most abundant elements in the Earth's crust (2.4% by mass).

Geologists have used this method to date rocks as much as 4 billion years old.

It is based on the fact that some of the radioactive isotope of Potassium, Potassium-40 (K-40) ,decays to the gas Argon as Argon-40 (Ar-40).

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