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Argon Geochronology Laboratory

Utilizes a dedicated, high sensitivity, noble gas mass spectrometer (VG1200S) which is connected to both resistance heater and continuous laser fusion systems.

Dr. Chris Hall


Biogeochemistry and Environmental Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory

The Biogeochemistry and Environmental Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory houses a multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, a thermal ionization mass spectrometer, an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer, atomic absorption spectrometers for combustion and liquid mercury analysis and a atomic fluorescence spectrometer for ultra-low level mercury analysis. The lab also houses wet chemistry labs for sample preparation, two-stage programmable furnaces for mercury separation from solids and a metal-free positive pressure clean laboratory for sample digestion and ion exchange chromatographic separations. The lab specializes in low-level metal and alkaline earth stable isotope analyses of a wide range of environmental and geological materials.

Prof. Joel D. Blum, Lab Manager Marcus Johnson


Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory (EMAL)

The R.B. Mitchell Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory (EMAL) is one of two EMAL labs at the University. It contains a Philips CM12 transmission electron microscope, Hitachi scanning electron microscope fitted with an energy-dispersive analysis system, two Cameca electron microprobes (SX-100, MBX), Scintag X-ray powder diffractometer, Enraf-Nonius single-crystal X-ray diffractometer, Debye-Scherrer, Gandolfi, Laue and other X-ray cameras.

Lab Director Owen Neill


Experimental Petrology 

The experimental facilities in the experimental petrology lab cover low, intermediate and high pressure conditions, from the Earth's surface to about 600 km deep, including hydrothermal conditions. The facilities include: some one-atmosphere tube furnaces and box furnaces (one to 1600°C), four Deltech furnaces (one used for density and sound speed measurements, and one with ultra-high temperature (2200°C) capability), one rapid-quench internally-heated pressure vessel, two rapid-quench cold-seal TZM pressure vessels, three piston cylinder apparatus, a multi-anvil apparatus, a Perkin-Elmer DSC-7 (scanning calorimeter) and TMA-7 (dilatometer and viscometer), a Perkin-Elmer spectrophotometer (for colorimetric analyses of FeO), one microbalance, and a sample preparation lab.

Profs. Rebecca Lange and Youxue Zhang



This lab supports microbiological, molecular, and biochemical approaches directed towards research in geomicrobiology and microbial biogeochemistry. The lab is fully equipped for characterization of microbial community structure and function by extraction, amplification, and analysis of DNA from environmental samples, including computational capabilities for genomic analysis. Instrumentation for sterile technique and cultivation allows for the isolation and growth of microorganisms and for the production of biogenic minerals. An epifluorescence microscope is available for analysis and enumeration of microbes in natural samples, including imaging of microbe-mineral assemblages.

Prof. Gregory Dick


Michigan Elemental Analysis Laboratory

MEAL provides solution-based elemental analysis on a variety of materials from rock through to natural waters in concentration ranges from ppm to ppt in biological, environmental, geological and industrial materials. The capabilities of this facility are centered around a Thermo Scientific ICAP quadrupole ICP-MS with fully integrated auto-calibration and auto-dilution system and a Thermo Scientific Element 2 high-resolution ICP-MS with an Apex 2Q desolvation system. These instruments provide for the quantitative analysis of most elements, at exceedingly low concentrations (parts per trillion to parts per billion), in both natural and synthetic materials. Associated facilities include a microwave digestion system, an ultra-clean laboratory for sample preparation, and a variety of sample introduction systems that allow determination of elemental chemistries from both solid and liquid materials in complex matrices.

Prof. Ingrid Hendy


Michigan Mineral Alliance

The University of Michigan has a significant mineral collection that is housed at the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum of Michigan Tech. The Michigan Mineral Alliancepreserves the legacy of the University of Michigan mineral collection and ensures that the collection gets the attention it deserves. The collection was established in 1838, one year after the founding of the University of Michigan and statehood for Michigan. 


Noble Gas Laboratory

This teaching and research facility includes a noble gas extraction and purification line dedicated to analysis of noble gases in fluids (e.g., groundwater, brines, gas, rainwater, snow, ice) as well as two multi-purpose noble gas mass spectrometers, an Helix SFT and an Argus VI for measurement of He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe abundances and respective isotopic ratios. The individual measurements are performed in semi-automated mode.

Prof. Clara Castro, Lab Manager Dr. Chris Hall


Stable Isotope Laboratory

This teaching and research facility comprises three gas source, ratio mass spectrometers and complete systems for the preparation and analysis of d18O, d13 C and dD of all mineral, fluid and gas phases. A unique aspect of the laboratory is the ability to sample materials on a scale of 10-20 micron increments in single crystals and accretionary structures utilizing a computerized XYZ microsampling system and to analyze samples as small as 10 micrograms. In addition, the facility has supporting instrumentation for petrographic analysis, cathodoluminescence, data analysis, and computer visualization.

Prof. Kyger C. Lohmann, Lab Manager Lora Wingate


Thermochronology Lab 

The Thermochronology Lab provides facilities for (U-Th)/He thermochronology on a variety of accessory minerals, including apatite, sphene, and zircon.  The low closure temperature of the (U-Th)/He system in these minerals makes it ideal for application to geological problems in geomorphology, surface processes, tectonics, structural geology, basin evolution, and thermal maturation.

Profs. Marin Clark and Nathan Niemi, Lab Manager Amanda Maslyn