Credit: Nick Rouillard
Experimental area
Clean room
Carbon/nitrogen analysis of soil samples in the analytical instrument laboratory.
Credit: Nick Rouillard
PhD student preparing samples for phosphate analysis of sediment samples in the analytical laboratory

Further information on our facilities

Experimental area

Location: room 395, Amory Building, Streatham Campus
Lead academic:
Dr Andrew Nicholas/Professor Tim Quine
The Experimental Area contains a recirculating Armfield flume with a working section 10m long by 600mm wide by 650mm deep, and with a maximum flow rate of 180 litres per second. This is used to study sediment transport and flow hydraulics.

Experimental PalaeoFire Lab

Location: Lab B6 Hatherly Labs
Lead Academic: Dr Claire M. Belcher
This European Union ERC funded lab is a specifically designed experimental PalaeoFire Laboratory that enables the flammability of natural fuels to be tested. It comprises state of the art flammability testing apparatus as well as general palaeontological preparation areas. More information about the PalaeoFire Lab can be found on the lab website.

Clean room

Location: room 430, Amory Building, Streatham Campus
Lead academic:
 Dr Tim Barrows
The clean room is an ultraclean facility used to prepare rock samples for cosmogenic nuclide analysis. We currently analyse the rare nuclides Be-10, Al-26 and Cl-36 and the laboratory is one of only a few of its kind in the United Kingdom. We have projects running in all parts of the world from Antarctica to Greenland, and from Africa to Australia.

Sedimentology laboratory

Location: room A072, Peter Lanyon Building, Penryn Campus, Cornwall
The Sedimentology Laboratory in the School of Geography (Penryn Campus) is used by academic staff, research students and undergraduates for investigations in physical geography, including dissertation research. The lab contains two fume cupboards, furnaces for loss on ignition (total organic matter content), drying cabinets, and sieving equipment, including sieve shakers as well as standard sedimentology equipment. This laboratory contains numerous microscopes and is also used for teaching.

Palaeoecology laboratory

Location: room A073, Peter Lanyon Building, Penryn Campus, Cornwall
The Palaeoecology Laboratory in the School of Geography (Penryn Campus) is used by academic staff, research students and for student dissertation research. This lab is where chemical investigations such as diatom preparation, humification, pollen preparation and analysis occur. The high power microscopes available in this lab have been used used for pollen analysis and diatom identification.

Analytical instrument laboratory

Location: room 432, Amory Building, Streatham Campus
Lead academic:
Professor Richard Brazier
The School of Geography runs an analytical laboratory in support of the sediment research facility with the following capabilities:

  • AAS for the analysis of heavy metals (in ppm)
  • ICP for the analysis of soils, sediments and water (in ppb)
  • An autoanalyser for the analysis of water quality including nitrates, phosphates, sulphates and carbonate in liquid form.
  • A Carbon and Nitrogen analyser for sediment samples
  • A number of particle size analysers including four Sedigraphs and a Laser Digisizer.

The laboratory also has capability to analyse soils for the following parameters:

  • Phosphates
  • Nitrates
  • Humification
  • Loss On Ignition (total organic matter content)
  • Chlorophyll A
  • Pollens

Analytical wet laboratory

Location: room 435, Amory Building, Streatham Campus
Lead academic:
Professor Rolf Aalto
This laboratory process soil and sediment samples which are then run in the specialist equipment in the analytical lab.

Microscopy Laboratory

Location: room B8, Hatherly Laboratories, Streatham Campus
This facility has recently benefitted from £40k investment to add high specification binocular and optical microscopy facilities, imaging and auto-analysis equipment.

Environmental magnetism laboratory

Location: room 362, Amory Buuilding, Streatham Campus
This modern environmental magnetism laboratory is equipped with low and high temperature magnetic susceptibility meters, pulse demagnetisers, and fluxgate spinner magnetometers.

Sample preparation

Location: room 274, Amory Building, Streatham Campus
Lead academic:
Professor Richard Brazier
This facility is used for preparing soil and sediment samples for analysis and is equipped with three dust extraction hoods. It houses a range of specialised equipment including:

  • Grinding equipment including a rotary sieve/grinder
  • Sieving equipment, including sieve shakers
  • Freeze driers

Radiometry laboratory

Location: room 392, Amory Building, Streatham Campus
Lead academic:
Professor Rolf Aalto
This laboratory houses a range of HPGe gamma spectrometers and alpha spectrometers that are used for analysing environmental radionuclides in soil, sediment and water samples. This equipment primarily supports research involving the use of fallout radionuclides (eg, Cs-137, Pb-210 and Be-7) as sediment tracers and the dating of sediment deposits (eg,floodplain and lake cores) using both Cs-137 and Pb-210. It includes:

  • P- and N- type coaxial HPGe Gamma detectors
  • HPGe well detectors
  • A field portable HPGe gamma detector
  • A suite of Alpha detectors

IT Suite

Location: Daphne du Maurier Building, Penryn Campus, Cornwall
This teaching suite contains 48 high-specification computers with the latest Geographic Information Systems and mapping software, designed to support teaching and learning in cartography, spatial mapping and analysis, remote sensing, statistics, and computer modelling.

View a virtual tour of the IT suite (tour 11).