Facilities

Underpinning the School’s research are outstanding analytical facilities supported by full-time technicians. These allow for the detailed characterization of natural (and synthetic) materials, culturing of micro and macro organisms in extreme environments, and geological and geophysical field deployment.

Isotope and trace element geochemistry

  • Two class 100 clean rooms
  • Three MC-ICPMS and two quadropole ICP-MS with solution, GC, and laser ablation introduction systems for the analysis of trace metal concentrations and isotope ratios.
  • Two Thermo Mat-253 IRMS, one with a fluorination line, and Delta plus XP IRMS with peripherals for C-N-O-H gas chromatography.
  • IC, ICP-OES.

Geobiology and culturing

  • The cultivation, manipulation, and molecular investigation of micro-organisms, including under anaerobic, phototrophic, and lithotrophic conditions mimicking early Earth ecosystems
  • The culturing and investigation of corals under different CO2 and temperature conditions.

Biogeomagnetism

  • Analysis of organic matter-metal-mineral interactions using fluxgate magnetometers, magneto-optical microscope, and ex situ magnetic susceptometers, supported by a <5 nT shielded box, and supplemented by a nonmagnetic shallow drill rig.

Geochronology

  • Dating of geological materials via LA-(MC)-ICPMS
  • Automated readers for OSL/TL dating
  • Dendrochronology
  • Geochemistry labs for cosmogenic sample prep
  • Experimental facilities for radio-/cathodo-/thermo-luminescence.

Experimental petrology

  • Experimental facility for mineralogy and petrology at high temperatures and pressures, using a Rockland 250-ton piston cylinder press.

Microscopy, spectroscopy and imaging

  • Electron microprobe
  • Two SEMs
  • XRD
  • XRF
  • Raman and NIR spectroscopy
  • 2D-3D micro-imaging.

Geophysics and field deployment

  • A broad equipment base for surface and near-surface terrestrial and marine geophysics using ssSONAR, GPR, ER, EP, IR, laser, seismic and GPS sensors.
  • A suite of survey, hydrological and soil sampling equipment, including a 21-metre research vessel, eddy covariance towers and greenhouse gas analysers.