Go to navigation (press enter key)Menu

Laboratories

The Earth Materials Lab is used for the identification and analysis of minerals and rocks.  It houses an automated powder X-ray diffractometer for the study of crystal structures and optical microscopes for grain mount and thin section studies.  Sample preparation equipment allows creation of clay mineral mounts, along with saws and polishing surfaces to make thin-sections.

The Paleoclimatology Lab is devoted to unraveling Earth's history of climatic change as recorded in lake sediments.  Equipment includes a coulometer and Chittick apparatus to measure carbon and carbonate contents of sediments; a fume hood, centrifuge, and biological microscope to isolate, identify, and count pollen grains, diatoms, and charcoal fragments; analytical balances, hotplates, magnetic stirrers, and drying ovens.

The Clastic Sedimentology Lab is used to explore the processes and materials present in modern and ancient sedimentary environments.  It contains a collection of sieves and a ro-tap sieve shaker for the analysis of grain size, petrographic microscopes for the study of rocks and minerals, and an alkalinity titrator to determine the acid neutralizing capacity of natural waters.  It also has apparatus to allow the separation of heavy minerals from sediments.

The Geophysics Lab houses field instruments used to image the subsurface of the Earth.  Equipment includes a Ground Penetrating Radar system used to identify and map variations in soils and bedrock, a magnetometer to search for buried metal objects, a soil resistivity meter for measuring variations in soil electrical conductivity, a total station for surveying, and a long wavelength seismometer.