Geology Department Facilities and Equipment


The Geology Department occupies offices and research laboratories fully equipped with up-to-date equipment for nearly all standard methods of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and hydrology. Among facilities and equipment available for research are the following:

Rock and Geochemical Facilities

Laser-Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (Agilent 7500ce ICPMS with a New Wave UP213 laser); Rigaku X-ray diffractometer:  Zeiss photomicroscope; Wild low-power photomicroscope; ore microscopy lab including a Zeiss reflectance microscope with heating/freezing stage; Zeiss research microscope; thin section prep lab; rock crushing, grinding, and powdering equipment; 2 high temperature furnaces; sieves and Rotap; and a photographic darkroom.

Paleomagnetism Facilities

Field-Free Room: Lodestar Magnetics Shielded Room 13 x 11 feet interior, 350 nT internal field low-field environment for measurement of weakly-magnetic rocks and sediments. Cryogenic Magnetometer: 2-G Enterprises Model 755 Superconducting Rock Magnetometer liquid-helium cooled single-sample 3-axis, sensitive to 0.001 mA/m. AF Demagnetizer: D-Tech D-2000 Alternating Field demagnetizer 0-200 mT peak field DC coil for (p)ARM computer controlled; large coil holds 2-3 samples. Thermal Demagnetizer: RFB-1 Thermal Demagnetizers; ASC Models TD48 and TD48-SC. sheilded over 2 chambers, greater than 20 sample capacity Temperature range: 20 - 700  TD48 has atmosphere and field controls to facilitate paleointensity studies. Magnetic Anisotropy: AGICO KLY3-S Magnetic Susceptibility Bridge sensitivity 5x10-8 SI (vol) units measures AMS of 20 samples per hour. CS-3 Furnace: measures k vs T range: 40 to 700 C. Spinner Magnetometer: Schonstedt SSM-1A Fluxgate Spinner Magnetometer measures remanence > 1 mA/m acquired 1971 computer interface: a fully functioning CROMEMCO Z-2D operating system: CROMIX (Y2K compliant). View pictures of the equipment by visiting the paleomagnetic page.

Field Geophysics

Geophysical Survey Systems SIR-2000 Ground Penetrating Radar with 400 MHz and 200 MHz antennae; Worden Model lll Gravity Meter; Bison Series 7000 Signal Stacking Seismograph; Soil Test Model R-50 D.C. Resistivity Meter; EG&G Geometrics G-846 Magnetometer (Unimag ll); two Trimble 5700 receivers and Zephyr geodetic antennas. The department also has its own seismic station housing an EAI S102 vertical axis seismometer.

Mapping and Surveying

Two Pathfinder Pro XR and 14 Trimble GeoExplorer 3 GPS units; Leica TC600 total station theodolite; Leica TC60SL Total Station; CST 202 Total Station, CST 300R Total Station.

Hydrology and Hydrogeochemistry

A QED Micro-purge well-water sampling system and an ISCO 3700C with a Hydrolab for automated flow monitoring and stream-water sampling. Two Gurley Pygmy and two Gurley Price AA current meters; water-level tapes; pressure transducer and data logger; permeameters; well-water sampling pumps; Boss GMS Groundwater Modeling software; YSI model 85 water analyzer and an Orion 250A meter; Davis EZ-Mount Energy EnviroMonito weather station; skiff and motor. We also cooperate with The Institute for Watershed Studies which has a Washington State certified water quality lab.


A Malvern Mastersizer 2000 automated laser particle-size analyzer; map and aerial photo interpretation lab; photo lab; coring systems (Livingston piston corer and Reasoner piston corer); Bartington MS2-C magnetic susceptibility meter; Loss-on-ignition organic carbon analyzer; SEM; cold room storage; survey equipment; sieve stamper; and a large wave tank for studying beach processes.

Computers and Software

In addition to university computer labs, geology students have special access to our own computer lab, which contains scanners greyscale and color printers; 22 recent-model (2014) Windows 7 PCs running a range of specialized software including Adobe, Esri (ArcGIS), Matlab, and Surfer in addition to typical productivity software.