Equipment and Work Space

•Sample layout, examination, and storage space (short term use only)

Hammering station for breaking up rocks

Bico rock crusher, crushes rocks into pea size chips

Bico disc mill, grinds rock chips to sand size

•Small rock crushers with ceramic crushing plates

•Shatterbox, powders rock chips for geochemical analysis, etc.

•Sieves and automated sieve shaker

•Washing sinks and drying ovens

•Ultrasonic cleaners

•Compressed air guns

•Portable air compressor

Gemeni table for concentrating high-density minerals by water panning

Rock saws (lubricated with water)

•Rock saws (lubricated with oil, similar to these)

Beuhler thin section machine 

•Automated rock slab polisher (vibratory, similar to these)

•Rock coring machine

•Rock splitter

•Work space and oven for epoxying rocks

•Frantz magnetic separators (old and new style)

•Large centrifuge, portable centrifuge tachometer

•Hood space and glassware for simple chemical processing of samples

•3% HCl, 10% HCl, concentrated HCl; 5% acetic acid, concentrated acetic acid; 3%H2O2; HNO3

•Thermometers, liquid density hydrometers, lab timers, air pressure guages

•Simple sample weighing and volume determinations

•Work stations for heavy liquid sink/float mineral separations (LMT, MEI, bromoform, densities 1.00-3.32 g/cm3)

•Vacuum filtration, automatic stirrers

•Microscopes for examination of samples and separates and for hand picking

•Hand tools, drill press, wood miter saw


Common Uses of the Labs

•Sawing rocks for thin sections blanks, fossil examination, etc.

•Polishing rock slabs for fossil examination, textural examination, teaching, etc.

•Spreading out rock samples after a field season (organizing, examining, etc.)

•Powdering rocks for geochemical and isotopic analyses

•Preparing samples for various uses in rock physics, rock mechanics, geochemistry, energy studies

•Mineral separations for geochronology or geochemistry

•Purifying quartz for cosmogenic isotope studies

•Building simple equipment out of wood or plastic


New Uses

The labs try to accommodate new equipment made available for School-wide use. Some of the lab rooms hold messy machinery that would be hard to tolerate in other labs. Please contact us if we ought to install something new. In some cases, we might be able to help fund it. In other cases, you'll need to fund it, but at least you won't need to find space for it.


Difficult Issues

•Processing those rare rocks with hazardous materials can be problematic.  These include rocks with naturally occurring asbestos, mercury, other heavy metals, radioactive elements, hydrocarbon residues, etc.  Contact us well in advance regarding this.

•If you don't have a well developed procedure for what you need to do, you will need to find one or develop one, which can be very time consuming.  Again, contact us well in advance.

•Do not bring chemicals or hazardous waste into the labs without asking first.