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Geological Elemental Analysis Laboratory

Located in the Bevill Building Room 2017, the Department of Geological Sciences Analytical Laboratories consists of two separate labs: the Geological Elemental Analysis Laboratory and the X-ray Analytical Laboratory.

The Geological Elemental Analysis Laboratory is dedicated to the inorganic chemical analysis of aqueous or solid samples. Aqueous samples can include natural water samples, wastewater samples, laboratory experiment effluents and digestate solutions produced by microwave-assisted acid digestion of rock materials. Dry samples can include garnets, glass beads or shark’s teeth.

GEAL wet chemical instruments dedicated to the analysis of aqueous samples, providing quantitative concentrations (ppm to sub-ppm levels) of inorganic elements and nutrients by Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and Ion Chromatography (IC).

GEAL has a Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled – Mass Spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS) designed for wet or dry sample analysis. ICP-MS allows quantitative analysis of aqueous sample analytes such as REE at the ppb and ppt levels or isotope ratios. Switching over to the LA-ICP-MS allows solid analysis of isotopes or trace elements.

We are equipped with an Anton Paar Microwave Digestor so solid phase samples can be digested prior to ICP-OES/ICP-MS analysis. Soil samples, rock samples, or metal powders can be digested to facilitate trace metal analysis.

Potential users should contact the lab manager, Jonathan Riddle. Users will be asked to provide information about their samples (matrix, analytes of interest and their approximate concentrations, number of samples, etc.) before sample analysis charges can be assessed.