Research facilities in Penny Hall include low-temperature geochemistry research laboratories for experimental and analytical studies; an Asylum Research “Cypher” atomic-force microscope for studies of mineral-water interface processes; radiogeochemistry research laboratories containing multiple alpha- and gamma-spectrometry systems for measurement of environmental radionuclides; computational facilities for numerical modeling of groundwater flow systems and nanogeochemical processes; the Visual and Advanced Simulation Training Laboratory (VAST Lab), which is a research and teaching facility that uses computer visualization systems to display real-time data streams such as global ocean temperatures and currents; sample processing laboratories for water, sediment, and rock; and workshops for building and testing gear for field work.
Departmental facilities in the ISE Lab building include: (1) a geomicrobiology laboratory with capabilities for culturing, biochemical measurements, voltammetry, and optical/fluorescence microscopy, and (2) a stable isotope mass spectrometry facility including a Thermo Delta Plus XL dual-inlet isotope-ratio mass spectrometer interfaced in continuous flow mode with a HP-6890 GC, a Carlo Erba NC-2500 elemental analyzer, and a Gas-Bench automated reactor with headspace sampler. A new Thermo-Fisher Delta V Plus isotope-ratio mass spectrometer is anticipated for delivery in summer 2015, and it will include GC and GC-MS interfaces. The stable isotope facility also includes additional GCs and a SRS-200 quadrupole mass spectrometer for bulk gas analysis, as well as comprehensive capabilities for sample preparation for a range of stable isotopic analyses.
Other specialized field equipment includes a CHIRP sonar system for coastal research; and ground-penetrating radar and seismograph systems for near-surface geophysics investigations.
Faculty within the department also have access to additional facilities through their collaboration with joint faculty colleagues, such as an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle); a terrestrial LIDAR system; and the coastal research vessel Hugh R. Sharp.