Department of Geology and Geophysics
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
The Geochemistry Analytical Laboratory houses a variety of instruments such as ICP-OES, dual channel Ion Chromatography, flow-injection analysis, LA-ICP-MS, surface area analyzer, elemental combustion system, and more. We use these instruments to analyze a variety of natural and engineered materials such as products of whole-rock fusion, fresh and saline waters, solar cell decomposition products, nanoparticles, tissues, and soils. The data generated are used to support research in geology, energy, engineering, and agricultural fields. The Geochemistry Analytical Laboratory is overseen by Janet Dewey.
The center is part of the UW Libraries system and houses books, theses, dissertations, journals, maps and governmental publications related to geology, geophysics, physical geography, mining and petroleum geology and geological engineering.
The drill-core research and teaching lab is an important component of our sedimentary and petroleum geology program. This facility houses representative cores of nearly every clastic depositional environment as well as many carbonate environments. In addition to regular classroom use, this facility is used by graduate students and faculty to examine cores temporarily provided by companies for research purposes and in teaching core workshops offered through the University for professional geologists.
This facility consists of 75 m2 of wet-chemical lab space devoted to purification and dissolution of quartz and other target minerals. Once minerals are dissolved, cosmogenic nuclides are extracted and prepared for analysis. We use these nuclides to measure rates or weathering, erosion, and sedimentation in mountainous settings.
Our geophysical computing lab is supplied with 15 workstations for each student that run the Linux operating system on high speed modern hardware. Large-scale computation, for seismic imaging and fluid flow, two large-scale Linux clusters are used by Dr. Chen, Dr. Mallick, and Dr. Zhang. Some of the best software packages in the Oil exploration business - Landmark and Paradigm - operates on the Linux workstations. The computer support provided by the Geology and Geophysics Computer Support group is excellent.
Our facility includes a state-of-the-art Thermo Fisher Scientific NEPTUNE Plus MC-ICPMS and supporting clean lab. The capabilities of the Neptune Plus allow for high mass resolution and high precision isotope ratio measurement, allowing for groundbreaking research in earth systems science.
The in-house Computer Labs contains the latest PC and Mac hardware, software, and peripherals. The lab features everything necessary to produce posters, slides, and illustrations for a wide variety of purposes. It contains all of the most popular drawing programs and other productivity software. The PC classroom supports teaching in image processing, GIS, GPS, geophysics and geochemistry. When it is not being used for teaching, it is available to students who require the use of the specialized software for their coursework and research. Software includes: Four image processing software packages (ERDAS, MIPS, ENVI, ERMapper), Digital mapping software (ArcInfo, All Topo, and MapSource).
The Geology and Geophysics Department supports state-of-the-art instrumentation and laboratories for characterization of chemical composition, crystalline structure, and morphology of both natural and man-made solid materials. The Lab has an Electron Microprobe; an automated powder diffraction system, and a SEM equipped with a backscattered electron detector, a cathodoluminescence detector, and a light-element energy dispersive x-ray detector (capable of detection of elements with atomic number of 5 or greater) in addition to the standard secondary electron detector. We have recently added a Electron Backscatter Diffraction System (EBSD) (and colloidal polishing facility) to our SEM to provide a facility to measure the full 3-D crystallographic properties of materials.
The radiogenic isotope laboratory in the Department of Geology and Geophysics includes mineral separation facilities, clean rooms and thermal ionization mass spectrometer for Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd and U-Pb isotopic analyses. Mineral separation facilities include standard Wilfley table and magnetic and heavy liquid separation equipment along with computer-numerically-controlled microdrill for micro-isotopic analysis of zoning within minerals. The Class 100 clean lab consists of three rooms with positive pressure, HEPA filtered air and no exposed metal. It is furnished with 7 polypropylene HEPA-filtered laminar-flow fume hoods. Our Micromass Sector 54 thermal ionization mass spectrometer has ion counting Daly and WARP filter with both positive and negative ion capabilities. The mass spectrometer is housed in temperature controlled, positive-pressure clean rooms that are equipped with HEPA-filtered laminar flow benches for sample loading.
The Remote Sensing Laboratory contains computers, optical and digital equipment for interpreting photographs and satellite images and for constructing maps. The purpose of this lab is to give students studying remote sensing all the tools they will need to be successful in pursuit of their degrees.
The Surface Chemistry Laboratory provides the instrumentation needed to study the fundamental chemistry that occurs at mineral interfaces. The Laboratory features several scanning probe microscopes including scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopes. And Second Harmonic Generation (SHG), Optical Waveguide Lightmode Spectroscopy (OWLS) and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). There is a complete wet-chemical laboratory housing computer-controlled titration systems, balances, ovens, potentiometric techniques etc. which supports the Surface Chemistry Laboratory.
The Collection of Fossil Vertebrates represents an integral research and teaching component for the Department. The collection is a nationally recognized, public scientific resource that emphasizes the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossil record of Wyoming's Laramide basins and High Plains. The collection has roots that extend back to 1887, when The University of Wyoming's Geological Museum was founded.