Analytical facilities at BGS which form part of the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry

Stable Isotope Facility

Stable isotopes research

Head: Professor Melanie Leng

Equipment and capabilities:

  • Isoprime with EuroPyrOH for analysis of water 2H/1H in marine and fresh waters, fluid inclusions, soil/plant materials
  • Isoprime 100 with Aquaprep for analysis of water 18O/16O in marine and fresh waters, fluid inclusions, soil/plant materials
  • Isoprime 100 with Multiprep for analysis of 13C/12C and 18O/16O of single microfossils
  • GV Isoprime with Multiprep and VG Optima for analysis of 13C/12C and 18O/16O of microfossil and other pure calcium carbonates, impure carbonates, and aqueous bicarbonate
  • VG Optima with Costech ECS4010 for analysis of 13C/12C and C/N of bulk organic materials (plants, soils, etc.)
  • Thermo Finnigan DeltaplusXL with oxidative and reductive elemental analysers for analysis of nitrogen and sulphur compounds: 15N/14N, 34S/32S, and 18O/16O of nitrate, ammonium, sulphate, sulphide, and organic N and S as well as 2H/1H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O, and 34S/32S of bulk organic materials (plants, soils, etc.).
  • Thermo Finnigan MAT 253 with manifold for analysis of 18O/16O and 30Si/28Si of rock minerals, biogenic silica, and tooth/bone materials

More about Stable Isotope Facility

Inorganic Geochemistry Facility

Inorganic Geochemistry Facility

Head: Dr Michael Watts

Equipment and capabilities:

  • inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) instrumentation for the analysis of a comprehensive suite of major and trace elements. This includes ultra-trace detection limits (ng/l) for a range of elements in natural waters by ICP-MS. The ICP-MS facilities also include: laser ablation capability for the spatial analysis of solids on a micrometer scale, isotope-ratio measurement capability (e.g. uranium isotopes), element speciation capability using high pressure liquid chromatography ICP-MS (HPLC-ICP-MS), including investigation of arsenic and chromium species. Mercury analyser for analysis in various matrices
  • ion chromatography for analysis of anions
  • potentiometric titration for analysis of pH in waters and soils, and alkalinity in water
  • potentiometry for analysis of electrical conductivity
  • organic carbon analyser for non-purgeable organic carbon (NPOC)

More about Inorganic Geochemistry Facility

Organic Geochemistry Facility

Organic Geochemistry Facility

Head: Dr Christopher Vane

Equipment and capabilities:

  • quantification of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in soils, sediments and waters including total non-volatile hydrocarbons (saturate/aromatic and heterocyclic compound classes) by thin layer chromatography and flame ionisation detection (TLC-FID, Iatroscan); total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) by gas chromatography flame ionisation detection (GC-FID); 15 of the 16 US Environmental Protection Agency priority pollutant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) reported as individual International Committee for the Exploration of the Sea or ICES 7 PCB and Σtri, tetra, hepta, hexa and hepta homologues; ΣPCB congeners by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)
  • Rock Eval for the analysis of type and maturity of organic carbon
  • analysis of volatile organic compounds such as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene) and TCE (trichloroethylene) by headspace GC/MS
  • analysis of pesticides such as mecoprop, atrazine and diuron
  • measurement of organo-metallic species such as tributyl-tins (TBT)
  • analysis of xenoestrogens
  • quantification of explosives (formulations HMX, RDX and TNT) in sediments by HPLC
  • quantification of sewage sterols in environmental samples by GC/MS

More about Organic Geochemistry Facility