Geochemistry/Thermo- & Geo-chronology
Researchers in this area use geochemical tracers to reconstruct the thermal history of rocks; characterize ancient environments and climates; reveal the interactions between climate, soils, and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels; and decipher fluid-rock interactions and mestasomatism at high temperature, relationships between metamorphic processes and deformation, and volatile transport in subduction zones to aid in quantifying geochemical cycles.
Our major research areas & groups in geochemistry include:
- Major & Trace Element Geochemistry
- Stable Isotope Geochemistry
- Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry
- Aqueous & Microbial Geochemistry
- Gas Geochemistry
- Organic Geochemistry
- Thermo- & Geo-chronology
We offer numerous analytical services in isotopic geochemistry to customers outside the university. For a list of services and contacts, visit: Analytical Services in Isotope Geochemistry
Faculty & Research Scientists
|Jay L Banner|
Isotopic methods, groundwater, oceans, ancient oceans, climate change, aquifers, caves, environmental science, geochemistry, paleoclimatology
|Jaime D Barnes|
Stable isotope geochemistry, metamorphism and volatile transport in subduction zones, fluid-rock interaction and metasomatism, geochemical cycling, stable chlorine isotopes
Mechanics and kinematics of deformation in continental lithosphere, rheology of the crust and upper mantle, mechanisms of strain localization, experimental rock mechanics, tectonic geomorphology and long term slip rates and hazard on large-scale strike-slip faults.
|Philip C Bennett|
Aqueous geochemistry, geomicrobiology, environmental and microbial geochemistry, hydrogeology
|Daniel O Breecker|
Soil biogeochemistry, calcic soils, stable isotope geochemistry
|Elizabeth J Catlos|
My primary research focus is [bold]geochemistry[/bold], and how the fundamentals of chemistry (mineral reactions, radiogenic and stable isotopes, major and trace elements) can be and are used to understand what the Earth was like in the past. In this, I have interests that span a broad range of range of plate boundary processes and laboratory approaches. Many ancient fault systems are clues to determine the evolution and migration of Earth's continents in the ...
|Jacob A Covault|
sedimentology, stratigraphy, marine geology
|Ian J Duncan|
Expertise in geomechanic and geochemistry applied to: risks associated with CO2 sequestration; hydraulic fracturing for shale gas production; environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing; and the water-energy nexus. Current research focuses on the scientific, environmental and public policy aspects of unconventional natural gas production, the water-energy nexus, and carbon capture and storage. He has a particular interest in risk analysis, decision making, and legal/regulatory issues related to fracing, CO2 sequestration, CO2-EOR, and energy production.
Fault and fracture mechanics, diagenesis and low-temp. geochemistry, fluid flow and transfer processes in sedimentary basins, deformation mechanisms of the upper crust, structural control of mass and heat transfer in sedimentary basins, effects of chemical mass transfer on the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of fractures and faults, chemical interaction between fluids and minerals
Fluids in diagenetic and hydrothermal systems, Fluid inclusions, Fractures, Structural diagenesis
|James E Gardner|
Volcanology, volcanic eruption processes, magmatic processes, experimental petrology, volatiles in magmas, degassing of volatiles from magmas, control of degassing behavior on volcanic eruptions and formation of ore bodies
|Richard A Ketcham|
High-resolution X-ray computed tomography, CT scanning, 3D image analysis, fission-track dating, thermochronology, structural geology, tectonics, digital morphology, trabecular bone
|J. Richard Kyle|
Ore deposits geology, strata-controlled mineral resources, metals & industrial minerals exploration, ore petrology, characterization of ore-forming fluids, high resolution X-ray computed tomography applications to ore genesis & processing, geology of energy critical elements, resources & society, geology & mineral resources of Texas
|Toti E Larson|
|John C Lassiter|
Earth's origin and evolution, isotope and trace element geochemistry, the role of crust and lithospheric mantle recycling in the generation of mantle chemical heterogeneity, the origin and distribution of water and other volatile elements in the Earth's interior, and the thermal and chemical evolution of the Earth's core and core/mantle boundary
|James L Maner|
Isotope geochemistry, Geochemistry, Experimental petrology, Igneous petrology, Metamorphic petrology, Electron microbeam, Secondary ion mass spectrometry
Subsurface hydrology, numerical modeling and optimization of groundwater resources, multiphase flow and contaminant transport in both the unsaturated and saturated zones, geochemistry modeling and subsurface reactive transport, Mathematical geology, geostatistics, inverse modeling, optimization, risk assessment and risk analysis
|Hilary C Olson|
Biostratigraphic and paleoenvironmental analysis of foraminifera
|Terrence M Quinn|
Paleoclimate, climate, climate change, climate dynamics, paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, sedimentary geology and geochemistry
|Katherine D Romanak|
Geochemistry and isotope systematics of carbon cycling in the vadose zone and in freshwater aquifers; soil-gas monitoring and surface gas flux measurements at CO2 sequestration sites; microbial influences on carbon geochemistry in the shallow subsurface; fate and transport of organic contaminants.
|Timothy M Shanahan|
Paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, paleolimnology, sedimentary geology and geochemistry, organic geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, compound-specific stable isotope analysis
Thermo-/Geochronology, Tectonics and Structural Geology, Isotopic Provenance Analysis, Archeometry, Geothermal Exploration, and Thermal Maturation
Soil Biogeochemistry, Paleosols, Terrestrial Paleoclimate
Tectonic; Geochronology, Stratigraphy, Biochronology
Micropaleontology, Stratigraphy, Paleoceanography, Geochemistry
|Stephen C Phillips|
methane hydrates, sediment biogeochemistry, environmental magnetism, paleoceanography
Adjunct/Emeritus Facultyâ€‹ & Research Scientists
|William D Carlson|
Field, analytical, and experimental studies of metamorphic petrogenesis, with emphasis on the rates and mechanisms of metamorphic reactions. Geological applications of high-resolution X-ray computed tomography. Analytical and computational studies of intracrystalline and intergranular diffusion.
Research on mantle evolution using tools of mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry.
|Rudra N Chatterjee|
|Staci L Loewy|
|Nathaniel R Miller|
Sedimentary geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, Earth system evolution, Q-ICP-MS, microanalytics, GIS, Neoproterozoic climate [link: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/news/2018/05/new-research-suggests-that-dawn-of-plate-tectonics-could-have-turned-earth-into-snowball/] [/link]
Research on mantle evolution using tools of mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry.
|Lisa D Stockli|
U-Pb Geochronology and trace element analysis by LA-ICP-MS; TIMS and SIMS techniques;
|Clara J. Brennan|
My research focuses on the systematic exploration of single grain 4He/3He thermochronometry in order to recover continuous thermal histories of samples from crustal sections located in the Wassuk Range of western Nevada and the KTB borehole in Germany.
|Owen A Callahan|
I investigate fluid flow in faults and fractures, specifically the interplay between hydrothermal alteration, mechanical deformation, and conduit evolution in high temperature hydrothermal systems, using field observation, petrographic characterization, and experimental rock mechanics.
|Tomas N Capaldi|
I am a fourth year PhD student, focusing on Cenozoic to modern tectonic evolution of the flat-slab region in western Argentina. I study modern river networks using zircon U-Pb chronology to assess what factors are represented by sand provenance, such as: drainage area, variable erodibility, and zircon fertility of different source rocks. I use the modern river provenance as a baseline to reconstruct Cenozoic paleo-drainages during Andean mountain building and to differentiate the timing of ...
My research combines a broad range of disciplines, including geochemistry, structural geology, petrology, and chronology, to understand how high-pressure rocks from the Mediterranean are exhumed to the surface. I consider myself a stable isotope geochemist who applies multiple techniques to understand large-scale tectonic problems including volatile sourcing and fluid flow in subduction zones, and exhumation of high-pressure rocks.
|Scott A Eckley|
I am interested in the evolution of the terrestrial bodies, specifically the Earth, Moon, Mars, and Vesta.
|Thomas M Etzel|
I am driven by a desire to understand the evolution of the lithosphere in both collisional settings and active geothermal systems. I call on isotope geochemistry (stable and radiogenic), thermodynamics, lithosphere dynamics and tectonics, material (heat, mass, volatile, chemical) transport and petrology to help explain observations I make in thin section, core, outcrop and across entire mountain belts. Ultimately, I consider myself a tectonochemist, that is, I use a variety of sub-disciplines fundamentally rooted in ...
|Megan E Flansburg|
I am currently pursuing my M.S. with Dr. Daniel Stockli (UT) with committee members Dr. Konstantinos Soukis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) and Dr. Whitney Behr (UT). My research aims to determine the structural history of Ios Island in the southern Greek Cyclades. The southern Cyclades can provide key information to understanding the development of the Aegean microplate during Cenozoic subduction of the African slab. With geo- and low-temperature thermochronometric techniques and detailed ...
My research focuses on elucidating the timing and mechanisms of shortening, exhumation, and basin evolution in the Eastern Cordillera of northern Peru and Ecuador. By integrating U-Pb geochronology and measured sections from Cenozoic hinterland basins with (U-Th)/He thermochronology and mapping on uplifted Mesozoic and basement units, I will provide a detailed chronology of the uplifts that link the Northern and Central Andes.
|Adam S Goldsmith|
Understanding the role of radiation damage on helium diffusion kinetics in zircon through the characterization of alpha-radiation damage by Raman spectroscopy a la Nasdala, et al 1995,2001,2004.
I am generally interested in the applications of biological markers (biomarkers) to address questions in geology and petroleum engineering. My current PhD research focuses on using paleoclimate molecular proxies, such as plant leaf wax biomarkers (GDGT) and stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopes to understand tropical South American hydroclimate and its dynamics since the LGM.
|Cullen D Kortyna|
I am interested in the routing of sediment from its erosional source to depositional sink. To investigate this, I use a combination of geo/thermochronologic and sedimentological/stratigraphic methods. Source-to-sink studies are important as a method for understanding landscape evolution, and investigating tectonic and climatic controls on sediment transport and delivery from source to basin.
My research focuses on structural deformation, sedimentary basin development, and orogenesis along convergent plate margins. I use a combination of structural geology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, thermochronology, and geochronology to understand basin evolution and mountain building processes, with particular interest in how deformation style and basin architecture respond to changes in convergent margin tectonic regime. My Ph.D. work in the southern Central Andes (San Juan and Mendoza provinces, Argentina) investigates: - Long-lived (~200 Myr) retroarc basin evolution ...
My research focuses on tectonic inversion in the Pyrenees mountains of Spain and France. I am using multi-mineral geo- and thermochronology to study the rift and inversion evolution in the eastern Pyrenees and how inherited rift architecture controlled the early orogenic structural style and incipient foreland basin evolution and sediment routing systems.
|Eirini M Poulaki|
|Sebastian Ramiro Ramirez|
Sebastian started his PhD program at UT in 2016. He is interested in petrographic, geochemical and petrophysical studies of mudrocks, and is currently working on porosity and permeability experiments in the Wolfcamp and Bone Spring formations, Delaware Basin.
|Evan J Ramos|
I am a second-year PhD student whose research focuses on the thermodynamics of high-temperature and low-temperature fluid-rock interactions, the geochemical records associated with these processes, and the refinement of earth systems models of geochemical cycling between the solid Earth, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. My Master's thesis incorporated various techniques including numerical modeling, stable isotope geochemistry, and geochronology to characterize fluid flow during the formation of skarns. The overarching goal of this research was to quantify ...
Paleoclimatology & Isotopic Geochemistry
|Lily R Serach|
Fission Track Dating Method
|Kelly D Thomson|
|GEO 376C/388L Isotope Geology (taught each Fall by Ketcham & Barnes)
Survey of stable and radiogenic isotopes and their use. This broad course can either be a full introduction to the subject for students whose research will overlap with geochemistry but will not be specializing in it, or a springboard for further study.
|GEO 390M Thermodynamics of Geologic Processes(Taught every other fall (even years) by Carlson)
Introduction to general thermodynamics, with emphasis on geochemical aspects.
|GEO 390S Analytical Methods: Mass Spectrometry (taught each Spring by Miller & Loewy)
Survey course of 5 mass spec techniques (TIMS, ICP-MS, LA-ICP-MS, MC-ICP-MS, IRMS), and their applications.
|GEO 391 Fundamentals and Applications of ICP-MS (taught each Fall by Miller)
Fundamentals of ICP-MS, applications and capabilites; hands-on (50-50 lecture/lab).
|GEO 390R Analytical Methods: Electron-Microbeam Techniques (taught each Fall by Zhao)
Microprobe course, plus additional e-beam techniques such as SEM and XRD.
|GEO 391 Geochronology (taught each Spring by Stockli)
Geochronology and applications.
|GEO 391 Thermochronology (taught Fall by Stockli & Ketcham)
Thermochronology and applications.
|GEO 388R Advanced Thermochronology (taught every other Spring (even years) by Stockli & Ketcham)
Current topics in thermochronology, and computational modeling.
|GEO 376E/388H Environmental Isotope Geochemistry (taught every other Spring by Breeker)
Theory of stable isotope fractionation and radiogenic isotope systematics, applied to problems in low-T geochemistry.
|GEO 371C/388G Global Biogeochemical Cycles (taught Fall (failed to meet previous 2 years) by Shanahan)
Chemistry of surface of Earth, focusing on biochemical processes and interactions with the global climate system.
|GEO 391 Paleoclimate (taught by Shanahan)
Introduce grad students to field of paleoclimatology, using geologic archives from ocean, land, and cryosphere.
|GEO 387C/476M Chemical Hydrogeology (taught Spring by Bennett)
Chemistry of water in the subsurface. Topics include basic thermodynamics and kinetics of rock-water interaction, acid-base theory, redox, and coordination chemistry.
|GEO 386K Igneous Petrology (taught every other Spring by Gardner)
Geochemistry of magmas, geochemical and thermodynamic modelling, MELTS.
|GEO 386K Metamorphic Petrology (taught every other Spring (odd years) by Carlson)
Survey course in metamorphic petrology.
|GEO 391 Meteoritics/Early Solar System Processes (taught every other Fall by Lassiter)
Survey course in metamorphic petrology.
|GEO 376T/388T High-Temperature Geochemistry (taught every other Fall by Lassiter)
Isotope and trace element geochemistry. Emphasis on origin and evolution of Earth interior.
|GEO 386E Economic Geology (taught every other year (next F13) by Kyle)
Overview of the geologic controls for the formation of and economic constraints affecting non-fuel mineral resources.
|GEO 381R Regional Studies in Mineral Resources Geology (taught every spring, per demand (next S14), taught by Kyle)
Integrated study of a major geologic province, in the context of mineral resources; international field trip course.
|Graduate and undergraduate research in geologic sequestration of CO2 (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
Gulf Coast Carbon Center supports a team of students and post docs working in geologic sequestration (deep subsurface long-duration storage) of the major greenhouse gas CO2, as a method to reduce release to the atmosphere. Student projects are wide ranging, from sedimentology to policy, linked in that they are 1) multidisciplinary and 2) applied to current issues. Students are typically jointly supervised by faculty in geology or petroleum geosystems engineering and staff at the GCCC. A class in geologic sequestration is offered in the fall some years.
Posted by: Susan Hovorka
|Fault and fracture processes, structural diagenesis (Graduate)|
Graduate student projects combine the fields of fault and fracture mechanics and low-temperature geochemistry addressing deformation mechanisms of the upper crust, structural control of mass and heat transfer in sedimentary basins, the effects of chemical mass transfer on the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of fractures and faults, and the chemical interaction between fluids and minerals. Projects usually require the integration of field and laboratory analytical or numerical work and preference goes to applicants that are equally comfortable in the field and in the lab. Research topics include field- and core-based structural geology, geomechanics, geofluids, geochemistry, and natural resources including CO2 sequestration. A current research emphasis lies in Structural Diagenesis which combines the traditionally separate fields of brittle structural geology and diagenesis/geochemistry. Preference goes to PhD applicants with a prior MS degree and MS applicants with undergraduate research experience, preferentially through completion of a senior's thesis. Applications should be submitted to the MS or PhD program in Geological Sciences (GEO). Please contact Peter Eichhubl (email@example.com for further details.
Posted by: Peter Eichhubl
|Innovative Detrital Provenance Studies - Double Dating PLUS (Graduate)|
A major thrust of my current research the development and application of more comprehensive isotopic detrital provenance tools. U-Pb on zircon is clearly the big work horse, but only goes so far and sometimes yields "no" useful info, e.g., if the source of the sediment is mostly recycled sediment. We have extensively pursued double dating of zircons by U-Pb and He, as zircon He ages yield very interesting insights into the thermal and tectonic history of the source terrane; often yielding very different insights than crystallization ages. The combination is powerful, but I think we can take things so much farther by combining double dating with other constrains. People have tried fission track (not precise enough), Hf/Hf (to get mantle separation model ages), etc., but what we want to do and are working on is really Double Dating ++, combining zircon U-Pb-He dating with a variety of other geochemical aspects to more comprehensive understand detrital provenance and improve paleo-tectonic reconstructions. For example, trace-element thermometry (Ti in zirc), REE on zircon (met vs mag origin), Hf/Hf (see above), oxygen isotopes, etc. and also to develop rutile in an analogous manner (e.g., Zr in rut thermometry, Cr/Nb ratio (mafic vs granulitic), REE, etc.). The sky is the limit and what can learn so much. The issue in part it, how much can a single grain tell us before it's gone? The project sounds very laboratory oriented, but it's really a combination of field and lab work. We have identified a few possible case study areas, e.g., Morocco; great exposures, long-lived and preserved record of basin deposition since the Precambrian. My group is already working on some case studies in NW Himalayas, the N & S Pyrenees, the Sevier FTB, Permian Basin and other foreland basin. New projects include provenance studies along rifted and passive continental margins such the Gulf of Mexico, the central Atlantic Margins in Canada, USA, Portugal, and Morocco.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Research in structural diagenesis (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
Fundamental and applied research on fractures, particularly as these studies apply to petroleum reservoirs, is conducted under the auspices of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium at The University of Texas at Austin. The academic program of research, mentoring and teaching is led by staff of the Bureau of Economic Geology, the Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering and the Department of Geological Sciences. Students in the Energy & Earth Resources Graduate Program also participate in FRAC sponsored research projects. For further information on opportunities for fracture studies within the program see the FRAC pages on opportunities in Geology, Petroleum Engineering, Geophysics, and Energy Economics. FRAC welcomes Visiting Scientists from industry and from other academic institutions. Contact Steve Laubach for more information about these opportunities. A key part of the FRAC academic program is the Structural Diagenesis Initiative, a new teaching and mentoring perspective on interacting mechanical and chemical processes at high crustal levels in the Earth. For more information on the initiative see the Structural Diagenesis Initiative web site. If you are a prospective student, please see the admissions information on the Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering or Jackson School of Geosciences web sites.
Posted by: Stephen Laubach
|Laser ablation (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He dating of zircon and apatite (Graduate)|
Seeking motivated Ph.D. students interested in noble gas geo-thermochronology and geochemistry to pursue project in method development and application of laser ablation (U-Th)/He dating and depth profile 4He/3He thermochronometry of zircon and apatite. Our laboratory has a dedicated noble gas extraction line with a SFT magnetic sector noble gas mass spectrometer and dedicated Excimer Laser. The lab also houses two Element2 magnetic sector single collector ICP-MS instruments with a second Excimer laser as well as a state-of-the-art Bruker optical interferometric microscope. The project will develop laser ablation methodology to recover detailed thermal histories from apatite and zircon by laser ablation (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He dating as well as comparison to step-heating fractional loss experiments.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|LA-ICP-MS single-pule U-Pb depth profiling recovery of thermal histories (Graduate)|
Seeking motivated Ph.D. students interested in in-situ geochronology to pursue project in method development and application of laser ablation continuous mode or single-pulse U-Pb LA-ICP-MS geo-thermochronology as well as trace element speedometry to constrain thermal history or lower and middle crustal rocks. The UTChron Geo- and Thermochronometry laboratory houses two Element2 magnetic sector single collector ICP-MS instruments with a large-volume cell Excimer laser system, ideally suited for depth profiling and U-Pb and trace element split stream analysis. The laboratory also houses a Bruker optical interferometric microscope to control laser ablation rates as well as a Raman system. The focus of applications is on method development and application to the exhumation of middle and lower crustal rocks in rifted margin settings.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Detrital Geo- and Thermochronometry of Atlantic Rift Basins (Graduate)|
Seeking motivated Ph.D. students interested in conducting integrated detrital zircon U-Pb and (U-Th)/He work on Triassic and Jurassic rift basins along the Atlantic margin in the NE USA and Canada and the conjugate margin of Morocco. The goal of the project is to understand basin sedimentation, sediment routing, and sediment provenance to shed light on lithospheric rift processes leading to Atlantic rifting and break-up. This project will combine stratigraphy, detrital geo-thermochronometry, and geodynamics to more holistically understand 2D and 3D sediment dispersal and lithospheric-scale controls on sediment dispersal and stratigraphic record during progressive rifting through time.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|IMPACT: Geo- and thermochronometry of the Chicxulub Crater and KPg ejecta deposits (Graduate)|
Seeking motivated Ph.D. student interested in investigating the thermal history of the recently drilled Chicxulub impact crater (IODP 364) in collaboration with Drs. Dan Stockli (DGS) and Sean Gulick (UTIG). The aim of the project is to test different hypotheses for the formation of the peak ring, to investigate the thermal evolution of the impact and the post-impact hydrothermal alteration as well as to explore KPg deposits in the USA and Cuba using U-Pb and (U-Th)/He geo-and thermochronometry. In addition, we envision to use other IODP and industry borehole samples as well as outcrop samples from the USA and potentially Cuba to elucidate the ejecta and tsunami deposits related to the KPg impact in the southern Gulf of Mexico to more holistically understand the impact and its effects on the circum-GOM region.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|National Science Foundation-International Research Experiences for Students (Graduate or Undergraduate - Summer 2017 and Fall 2018)|
The National Science Foundation has awarded an International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program to provide four weeks of geological field-based research and training experiences across Slovakia for undergraduate and graduate students. These students will investigate geological processes that occurred in Slovakia due to the closure of branches of ancient ocean basins. Because of its extensive exposures of ancient ocean suture zones and crustal fragments, Slovakia is an ideal location to study how continents grow.
Posted by: Elizabeth Catlos
|(U-Th)/He Geo- and Thermochronometry Lab|
The UT (U-Th)/He Geo- and Thermochronometry Laboratory is a state-of-the art facility for the development of (U-Th) dating and its applications to tectonics, petrology, volcanology, stratigraphy, geomorphology, and geoarcheology. The facility houses: (1) 3 fully-automated UHV He extraction lines with 2 diode lasers, 1 Nd:YAG lasers, cryogenic purification systmes, quadrupole mass-specs, and step-heating apparati for diffusion measurements, (2) a Helix SFT magnetic sector noble gas mass-spectrometer with automated UHV gas extraction system with diode and excimer laser, (3) two Element2 HR-ICP-MS instruments for solution and laser ablation analysis for thermo- and geochronometery, as well as a dedicated clean room and sample preparation laboratories.
|Analytical Geochemistry Lab|
|Analytical Lab for Paleoclimate Studies|
The Jackson School of Geosciences now has four stable isotope laboratories. UTIG Director and DGS faculty member Terry Quinn supervises one of these labs: ALPS. The ALPS houses two, state-of-the-science, Thermo isotope ratio mass spectrometers and an Inductively Coupled Plasma-spectrometer (ICP).
|Aqueous Geochemistry Lab|
Characterizes the chemical properties of water and solids to support research in hydrogeology, geochemistry, and geomicrobiology. Equipment used: carbon analyzer (TC), Organic analysis Field and laboratory gas chromatographs, thermal desorber, high pressure liquid chromatographs, Inorganic analyses Ion chromatograph, autotitrator, field and lab spectrophotometers. BET sorptometer for N2, Ar, and Kr BET surface areas, and A microporosities, organic carbon analyzer.
Installed in 2002-2003, the JEOL JXA-8200 electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) is equipped with five wavelength dispersive spectrometers (WDS), an energy dispersive detector (EDS), and two image detectors in secondary and backscattered electron modes. The primary aim of the microprobe is quantitative elemental analysis of minerals on a microscale with high precision (less than a percent relative for major constituents) and low detection limits (commonly a few tens to few hundreds ppm)
|Fission Track Thermochronology Laboratory|
Enables analysis of fission tracks in apatite and zircon to constrain the low-temperature time-temperature (t-T) history of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.
|Fluid Inclusion Lab (BEG)|
Principal equipment includes: an Olympus BX 51 optical microscope, fitted for use with transmitted, reflected and UV light; a FLUID, Inc.-adapted USGS-type gas flow heating/cooling stage; a Linkam THMSG 600 degree C programmable heating/cooling stage; and a digital camera. The lab is fully equipped with sample preparatory facilities for preparation of doubly-polished thin and thick sections. The lab will soon incorporate an experimental hydrothermal lab component that will include 6 externally-heated cold-seal pressure vessels (up to 800°C, up to 700 MPa) used for the preparation of synthetic fluid inclusions and for quartz cement growth experiments.
|Fluid Inclusion Lab (DGS)|
The fluid inclusion laboratory is based around a modified USGS-type gas-flow heating/freezing stage capable of microthermometry of fluid inclusions over a range of 700° to -180°C. The stage is mounted on an Olympus BX51 microscope with a 40X long-working distance objective, 2X image magnifier, and digital camera for image capture. The microscope also has capability for UV fluorescence petrography. Complementary facilities are available for reflected and transmitted light petrography and image capture.
|Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Laboratory|
|Gas Geochemistry Lab|
This lab provides the following geochemical analysis capabilities: 1) Wasson-ECE Agilent 7890A gas chromatograph for gas compositional analysis of natural gas, soil gas, dissolved gas, and rock crushed gas; 2) Shimadzu QP2010S GCMS for liquid hydrocarbon compositional analysis of oil, solvent extracts, soil contaminants; 3) TharSFC H/PT apparatus Gas solubility measurement under high temperature and pressure conditions; 4) A high temperature and pressure gas adsorption system for gas adsorption isotherm analyses; 5) SA 3100 Surface Area Analyzer for surface area and pore size distribution analysis in porous rocks and mediums; 6) Foss Soxlet 2403 automatic extraction system for hydrocarbon extraction from soils, oil-bearing source rocks, and sandstones and carbonates; and 7) DIONEX ICS-1100 ion chromatography system for ion concentration analysis of brines.
|High Temp. Stable Isotope Lab|
This newly renovated lab is overseen by Jaime Barnes and houses a ThermoElectron MAT 253 with associated peripheral devices and instrumentation (TC/EA, GasBench II, Conflo IV, online silicate laser extraction line, general purpose vacuum extraction lines, Cl purification line). Instrumentation permits measurements of the stable H, C, N, O, S, and Cl isotope ratios of silicate, phosphate, and carbonate minerals, volcanic gases, air, and waters
|HPLC Mass Spectromtery Laboratory|
|HR-ICP Mass Spectrometers|
Equipment available: Thermo Element2 HR-ICP-MS with ESI autosampler system for solutions; and Thermo Element2 HR-ICP-MS with Photonmachines Analyte G2 Excimer laser ablation system.
|Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy|
This lab uses Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) analyses to measure dissolved water and carbon in natural and experimental silicate glasses. The lab is equipped with a Thermo Electron Nicolet 6700 FTIR spectrometer and Continuum IR microscope, equipped with automated x-y-z stage and stage purge system so that the spectrometer, microscope, and sample position are all purged with dry air that has <10 ppm CO2 for very precise measurements of CO2 poor glasses. Dedicated polishing facilities are also available for sample preparation.
|Isoprobe ICP Mass Spectrometer|
The IsoProbe MC-ICP-MS is a multicollector, magnetic-sector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer featuring a hexapole collision cell immediately behind the interface region of the ICP, and the multicollector contains nine Faraday collectors, three channeltron ion-counting detectors for low-level signals (ion currents below 10-16 amp), and an axial Daly detector located behind a wide aperature retarding potential filter for high abundance sensitivity on the Daly detector. The IsoProbe mass spectrometer is capable of making isotope ratio measurements in a large number of systems, including Ca, Fe, Cu, Se, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, Re, common Pb, Th-U series isotopes, and in situ laser ablation measurements of Sr, common Pb, Lu-Hf, and U-Pb.
|Isotope Clean Lab (Banner)|
The Isotope Clean Lab is a 600 square foot clean chemistry lab with seven Class-100 workspaces for preparation of rock, mineral, soil, plant and water samples for chemical and isotopic analysis under low-contamination conditions.
|Isotope Clean Lab (Lassiter)|
Within the Department of Geological Sciences there are three clean-room laboratories supplied with HEPA-filtered class 100 air where sample preparation and ion-exchange chromatography for isotopic analysis may be done under ultra-clean conditions, making possible very low analytical blanks (e.g., < 1 pg Pb for U-Pb geochronology, and <10 pg Sr). There are also two other laboratories with HEPA-filtered work stations where sample preparation and ion-exchange chromatography are performed. These labs are affiliated with the Mineral Separation Facility (see description).
|Mineral Separation Facility|
Includes shatterboxes for sample pulverization, a crusher, a disc mill pulverizer, a Rogers table, a Wilfly table, a mica table, sieves, heavy liquids and Franz magnetic separators for mineral separation.
|Paleoclimatology and Environmental Geochemistry Laboratory|
Major instrumentation includes: (1) Gas chromatograph-single quadrupole mass spectrometer (GC-IRMS) for quantification and identification of organic compounds, and (2) HPLC-signgle quadrupole mass spectrometer (HPLC-MS) equipped with intelligent fraction collection for identification, quantification and isolation of high molecular weight compounds.
|Quadrupole ICP Mass Spectrometer|
The Quadrupole ICP-MS laboratory (with laser ablation) is used for elemental determinations in a wide range of liquid (e.g., natural waters, dissolved sediments/rocks, digested biomass) and solid (e.g., rocks, minerals, glasses) samples. The ICP-MS instrument is an Agilent 7500ce, capable of measuring trace element concentrations in solution over a nine-order linear dynamic range, from ppt to 100s of ppm. Sample introduction systems include a Micromist concentric nebulizer with a Peltier-cooled spray chamber for aspirating solutions, and a New-Wave UP¬193-FX 193 nm excimer laser ablation system for micro-sampling of solids. Sub-ppm detection limits are obtained routinely by laser ablation. The Agilent 7500ce is equipped with a collision/reaction cell, allowing for quantification of environmentally important matrix/plasma-sensitive elements such as As, Se, and Fe. The instrument is housed in a positive-pressure HEPA-filtered laboratory equipped with a weighing station, laminar flow bench, and Type 1 (18.2 M?) ultrapure water station.
|Radioisotope Counting Lab|
This laboratory contains gamma and alpha spectrometers for measuring radioistope activities in sediment and water samples.
|Scanning Electron Microscope Lab (BEG)|
The Bureau houses two SEMs devoted primarily to research on unconventional reservoirs under projects supported by industry consortia (FRAC, MSRL, RCRL) and by government-sponsored programs (STARR, GCCC). One is a conventional SEM devoted to wide-area mosaic mapping for the study of microscale fracture populations in tight formations. The other is a high-resolution instrument largely devoted to the study of gas shales.
|Stable Isotope Lab for Critical Zone Gases|
This lab is designed for the study of caves, soils and vegetative canopies. The GasBench II and Thermo Electron 253 in the High Temp. Stable Isotope lab are currently being used to measure the carbon isotope composition of soil and cave CO2, CO2 respired in soil respiration experiments, and dissolved inorganic carbon and calcium carbonates from multiple environments.
|Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) Lab|
Measures the isotopic compositions and elemental concentrations of Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, U-Th-Pb, Li, B, Mg, K, Zr, and REE. Equipment: Seven-collector Finnigan-MAT 261 thermal ionization mass spectrometer (1987) A single-channel ion-counting systems.
|U-Pb Geochronology (TIMS) Laboratory|
Provides precise, conventional U-Pb ages in support of research to both internal and external collaborators (faculty, graduate students and researchers). Equipment: clean laboratory, with 3 laminar-flow HEPA-filtered workstations and related equipment for ultra-clean chemical separation.
|U-Pb Geochronology Clean Labs|
Within the Department of Geological Sciences there are three clean-room laboratories supplied with HEPA-filtered class 100 air where sample preparation and ion-exchange chromatography for isotopic analysis may be done under ultra-clean conditions, making possible very low analytical blanks (e.g., < 1 pg Pb for U-Pb geochronology, and <10 pg Sr). There are also two other laboratories with HEPA-filtered work stations where sample preparation and ion-exchange chromatography are performed. These labs are supported by the departmental sample preparation facility, which includes shatterboxes for sample pulverization, and a crusher, a disc mill pulverizer, a Rogers table, a Wilfly table, a mica table, sieves, heavy liquids and Franz magnetic separators for mineral separation.
Affiliated UT Programs & Centers
|Environmental Science Institute|
The Environmental Science Institute is a multi-disciplinary institute for basic scientific research in environmental studies founded by The University of Texas at Austin. The Institute serves as a focal point on campus for a wide scope of interdisciplinary research and teaching involving the complex interactions of the biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere in the Earth system, as well as the human dimensions of these interactions.