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College of Arts and Sciences

Research Facilities and Instrumentation in E&ES

earth and environmental sciences

Electron and Optical Microscopy Lab

Tescan Vega 3 variable pressure (VP) scanning electron microscope equipped with a LaB6 source and a variety of analytical detectors including: secondary electron (SE), backscattered electron (BSE), cathodoluminescence, and VP-SE. SEM is also equipped with an Oxford Instruments X-MaxN 50 mm2 SDD x-ray detector and a NordlysMax2 electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) detector for rapid characterization of mineral compositions and crystallographic orientations. Optical microscopes include Zeiss Axioskop40 transmitted/polarized light microscope, Leica Z6 APO macroscope, and a Leica MZ16 stereomicroscope for mineral picking. Support facilities also include grain and thin-section polishing equipment. For additional information on analytical capabilities and supporting instrumentation please visit the SEM Lab website.

Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Lab

Thermo Delta V plus IRMS; the mass spectrometer is equipped with universal triple collectors and three additional Faraday cups for multiple sulfur isotope analyses by the SO-SO2 method in continuous flow. The Delta V is linked to the two elemental analyzer peripherals with a Conflo IV, two NC 2100 and ECS 4010 elemental analyzers to generate SO2 gas for multiple S isotope analysis and CO2 and N2 gases for C and N isotope analyses, respectively.

Sample Preparation in the IRMS Lab

  • mini drill system to obtain powders for stable isotope analyses by IRMS;
  • polishing machine;
  • high-resolution scanner;
  • polarizing petrographic microscope.

Laser Raman Micro-Spectroscopic Imaging Lab

WiTec confocal Raman alpha 300R system with a 532 nm laser.

Hydrogeochemistry Lab

  • Hydrogeochemistry lab serves studies of natural water systems;
  • Dual channel Dionex IC system (ICS-1000 and ICS-2100) - anion and cation analysis;
  • Shimadzu TOC-V total carbon analyzer;
  • Metrohm 798 MPT Titrino automated titrator;
  • Millipore Labscale Tangential Flow Filtration station;
  • PS Analytical Millennium Excalibur with HPLC column - total arsenic and arsenic speciation;
  • Elix and Milli-Q Millipore DI water system;
  • drying oven and Lindberg furnace;
  • sequential filtration equipment, vacuum pumps;
  • field instrumentation: conductivity meters (Hach and YSI), LDO meters (YSI), combination DO, pH, conductivity meters (YSI), multiprobes (Hydrolab and YSI), Henry Micro Push Point samplers, water grab samplers, field water sampling pumps (Geotech) and QED bladder pump, generator (Honda).

Coastal Processes Lab

The Coastal Processes lab is equipped for sediment transport field studies with an assortment of electromagnetic and acoustic current meters (Marsh McBirney EMCMS, RDI ADCP, Sontek ADV), CTDs (conductivity, temperature, depth sensors from RBR and YSI), a dual frequency echo sounder (Knudsen Engineering), optical backscaterrance sensors (Campbell Scientific), a pump system for in situ water sampling and vacuum filtration manifold for determination of suspended-sediment concentrations. Sediment paricle size analyses are carried out with a Micoromeritics Sedigraph III5120 for fines (silt and clay) and standard sieving at quarter-phi intervals for sands.

Geomorphology Lab

  • Computer-based facility for analysis of changing landscapes;
  • Leica TPS1200Total Station with integrated GPS;
  • SonTek/YSI Argonaut-SW Acoustic Doppler Flow System;
  • Marsh McBirney EM Current Meters Model 2000 (2) portable flow meters
    Laser Technology Laser Range Finder;
  • other field instrumentation: handheld Trimble GPS GeoXT and Trimble GPS GeoXM, Trimble Juno SB Handheld GPS unit, Garmin 420s color GPSMAP Chartplotter, YSI conductivity meter Professional Plus.

Rock Processing and Preparation Lab

  • 2 Bico/Braun Chipmunck rock crushers;
  • Bico/Braun disc-mill grinder;
  • hydraulic vices;
  • shatterboxes with sintered alumina and tungsten carbide heads;
  • assorted rock saws;
  • Ro-Tap grain size analysis shaking apparatus (sand and gravel).

Mineral Separation Lab

  • Outotec Wilfley table;
  • heavy liquid separation room;
  • mineral and rock mounting and polishing.

Balances

  • Mettler Toledo AX205 Deltarange 0.01mg;
  • Sartorius CPA2P 0.0001mg balance;
  • plus 5 other balances.

Departmental Computer Lab

  • installed software: ArcGIS 10.1, Matlab, Mathematica; on campus: SPSS, SAS, Stata, Visual Modflow
  • input data facilities: scanners, OCR
  • output facilities: color laser printers, 44 inch wide poster plotter - Epson Stylus Pro 9800, other B/W laseprinters

Weston Observatory

Geophysical research laboratory of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Research at Other Science Departments

Several other research facilities are available on campus:

Other Research Facilities at Boston College

Integrated Sciences Cleanroom and Nanofabrication Facility: 1,500 square feet of
Class 1,000 and Class 10,000 cleanroom spaces