Pat91501 3d

CT Scanning

The High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility (UTCT) is a national shared multi-user facility supported by the Instrumentation and Facilities Program of NSF’s Earth Sciences directorate.

CT allows researchers to visualize and obtain 3D measurements of the interiors of opaque solid objects such as rocks, fossils, and meteorites.

Mthelensash 1

DGS Electron Microbeam Facility

The DGS Electron Microbeam Facility images samples at high-magnification and produces micro-scale elemental analyses. The energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS) and wavelength-dispersive spectrometry (WDS) in the E-beam lab—not varieties of mass spectrometry—have superior spatial resolution (micron-scale) but worse concentration resolution (EDS mapping resolves ~0.5 wt% differences at best, and WDS mapping 100s of ppm differences at best). 

Instruments are optimized to collect data from different types of samples and a broad diversity of research occurs in the lab.

Tc Ooids Xp Zoom

Optical Microscopy and Mapping

Light microscopes allow micro-scale imaging of rocks, fossils, and other samples with directly observed visible light. Capabilities in the Martindale Research Group include stereo microscopes with image stacking capabilities (depths of focus) with direct and transmitted light (0.5x – 12x magnification), petrographic microscopes with image stacking to capture multiple depths of focus and tiling capabilities allowing users to image entire thin sections (transmitted and reflected light, 1.25x – 500x magnification), and macro-scale photography set ups (angled and polarized light). 

Under Shared Facilities, check out the Graduate and Undergraduate Microscopy Lab

Dinosaur Bones Quadrapole

Elemental Mapping

Several labs in the department use ion and electron beam instruments to image samples.

Rowan Spikyclam


The DGS Electron Microbeam facility also hosts a small photogrammetry setup for creating digital models of small (<30 cm diameter) samples.