Soil Characterization and Quaternary Pedology Laboratory
The Soil Characterization and Quaternary Pedology Laboratory is equipped with cutting edge instrumentation to provide a wide range of analytical capabilities for soil and sediment. Instrumentation for physical analyses includes a Malvern Mastersizer 3000 for laser particle size analysis, a Meter Environment HYPROP 2 to measure soil moisture release curves, and additional instrumentation for measuring other physical properties including soil bulk density and Atterberg Limits. Instrumentation for chemical analyses includes a Dionex ICS-1500 Ion Chromatography System for measuring anions and cations, an Agilent 5800 Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES) for a variety of geochemical analyses, and a Niton XL3t 900 portable XRF unit with GOLDD+ technology for field- and lab-based geochemical measurements. The lab is also equipped with a rock crushing and milling facility and additional instrumentation for performing mineral separations and measuring pH, electrical conductivity, carbonate content, organic matter content, and more. Click below for more information.
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Malvern Mastersizer 3000
METER HYPROP 2 – Soil Moisture Release Curve
The METER HYPROP 2 can measure soil water potential by creating moisture release curves using the Wind/Schindler evaporation method. The HYPROP 2 uses two tensiometers at different levels in a soil or sediment sample to measure water potentials up to ~800 hPa. The lab is equipped with three HYPROP 2 stations for simultaneous measurement. The lab also contains a WP4C dew point potentiometer for measurements at high matric suction in dry soils, increasing the range of our moisture release curve measurements.
Agilent 5800 ICP-OES – Geochemical Analysis
Our Agilent 5800 ICP-OES system provides routine geochemical analysis of soils and soil extracts, sediments, and other aqueous solutions. EPA method 200-7 is used to fully digest soil or sediment samples for major- and trace-element analyses. The system is equipped with argon humidifier kit for samples with high total dissolved solids.
Dionex ICS 1500 Ion Chromatography System – Anion & Cation Suites
The Dionex ICS 1500 measures a series of anions and/or cations within a soil extract or other aqueous sample via suppressed conductivity detection. Standard solutions are used for calibration to produce a chromatogram, then aqueous sample extracts are measured on the instrument.
Niton XL3t 900 pXRF – Geochemical Analysis
The Niton portable XRF measures the elemental composition of a soil or sediment sample via x-ray fluorescence. The unit can be operational in a field or laboratory setting. Lab samples are powdered and packed into plastic cups prior to analysis and are measured against known standards. The GOLDD+ technology and optional helium atmosphere provide additional accuracy and sensitivity for lighter elements.