Department of Earth and Environmental Science
Sea-level Research Laboratory
The Department’s Sea-Level Research Laboratory was recently completely overhauled to produce a state-of-the-art suite of facilities which are amongst the best available in any USA department. This refurbishment comprised a microfossil and a sediment laboratory. The microscopy facility has been established for the analysis of diatoms, foraminifera, pollen and thecomebians. Microscopic remains are studied with Leitz, Leica, or Olympus instruments. The microscopy facility has 12 research grade microscopes. An image capture system electronically stores images directly from a Leica microscope to a computer. The facility also has a slide preparation area, reference collections of microfossils, and a microfossil library.
The laboratory includes new laser diffraction and CAMS grain size analyzer. In addition there are basic instrumentation for analysis of sediment texture and sedimentary structure. Equipment includes a -1.0 to 5.0 phi set of 1/4 phi-interval research sieves, furnace and a petrographic microscope.
Within the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, research facilities include a fission-track laboratory, Marine Biogeochemistry Laboratory, DC and IC plasma-emission spectrophotometers, an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, and a morphometric and image-analysis system. An ion chromatograph, tandem-accelerator mass spectrometer, X-ray diffractometers, TEMs and SEMs, including a JEOL high-resolution SEM, a scanning Auger multiprobe, thermal gravimetric mass spectrometer, fluid-inclusion laboratory, cathode luminescence apparatus, proton-precession magnetometer, and portable gamma-ray spectrometer are available at collaborating Departments and laboratories. Access to virtually any facility or instrument can be arranged within the larger Penn community, or at collaborating institution
Field research is equally well supported within the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, with a range of survey and sampling apparatus, data loggers, digital cameras, camcorders, and digital, mini-disk and tape recorders with players. The Department has a Leica TC1010 total station laser levels and supporting software for data analysis and mapping. We maintain multiple sets of various types of coring, water quality and field sampling equipment. Numerous vehicles are available for fieldwork, along with several inflatables. Research activities are supported by technicians and computing staff.