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Department of Earth Science
Earthlab

Uranium Laboratory

The Quaternary Uranium-Series Dating Laboratory (USDL)

The laboratory is a combined preparation facility doing wet-chemistry samples for Th/U and 210Pb dating of Quaternary materials (speleothems and sediment cores) in a clean-lab environment. We have a processing line for speleothems (stalagmites and flowstones) with casting, sectioning and preparation of thin wafers for dating, isotope and other climatic proxy analyses (organics, trace element and fluorescent banding).

Focussed on cave deposits, it is also a "karst laboratory", performing wet-chemistry rock analyses, analyses of cave minerals, water chemistry and dissolution kinetics of carbonate rocks at normal and elevated pressures. The laboratory also has equipment for groundwater tracing, using fluorescent dyes. The laboratory is an integrated part of teaching the departments' karst course (GEOV221), and is used by graduate students in karst geology and speleology.

Instruments

Alpha counter (EG&G Ortec)

The Octête PC alpha spectrometer has eight independent sample drawers and sample detectors for alpha counting. For 210Pb dating, we use a CRS-model developed in cooperation with the University of Warsaw in Poland.

Autoclave (Büchi Glas)

A modified Büchi Glas autoclave with temperature and pressure control for dissolution experiments up to 200 bar and 150ºC.