Labs & Facilities

Modern laboratory facilities are an integral part of Earth science research.


The Department is equipped with computer labs for remote sensing, GIS and modeling, and such facilities as an X-ray diffractometer, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, and rock-cutting and sample preparation equipment. The Earth Sciences Department is located near the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Geography, and the Environmental Studies Program, each of which offers extensive analytical facilities available for general use. Nearby Kresge Library supports Earth science research through extensive collections of online and print journals, geologic maps, major reference works and book collections. 

Earth Sciences


The Department of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College is well equipped with many modern research facilities. These currently include a variety of thermal ionization and gas source mass spectrometers, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers and optical emission spectroscopy, gas and liquid chromatographs, a gas chromatograph-isotope ratio mass spectrometer, infrared spectrometer, and research-grade petrographic microscopes. These instruments and others are described in their respective lab pages.

Geobiology Lab

  • A facility led by Dr. Leavitt for performing laboratory experiments to study microbial physiology, stable isotope geochemistry, and biochemistry.

Ice Core Lab

  • A facility led by Dr. Osterberg for ice core processing, sampling, and analysis.

Planetary Surface Processes Computing Lab

  • A facility led by Dr. Palucis for performing analyses of planetary surface processes using advanced computing.

Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry Lab

  • A clean laboratory facility for the study of radiogenic and other isotopes in marine and rock samples. The facility is led by Dr. Sharma.
  • (603) 646-0022

Stable Isotopes Lab

  • A facility led by Dr. Feng that provides high resolution carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur isotopic compositions for ecological, hydrological and climatic data.
  • (603) 646-1642

Short-lived Isotopes Lab

  • A Germanium detector facility led by Dr. Renshaw.
  • (603) 646-9010

Cosmogenic Radionuclide Lab

  • A facility led by Dr. Kelly for sample preparation necessary to do measurements of in-situ produced cosmogenic nuclides.

Mineral Separation Lab

  • A facility led by Dr. Strauss for mineral separation, in particular, geochronometers such as zircon. 

Potassium-Argon Dating Lab

  • A facility led by Ed Meyer for rock dating, specializing in secondary clay minerals.
  • (603) 646-0548

Geophysical Lab

  • A laboratory geophysical field equipment, including gravimeters, GPS and a GPR. The facility is led by Leslie Sonder.

The ICE Lab

  • A laboratory to study the physical properties of snow and ice. The facility is led by Robert Hawley.

Flume Lab

  • A lab for the study of sediment transport. The facility is led by Marisa Palucis.

Earth Sciences

Core Facilities

X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory

  • An X-Ray diffraction facility for general use.
  • (603) 646-0607

Sample Prep Laboratory

  • A rock and soil processing facility for general use.

GIS and Remote Sensing Lab

  • A laboratory with computers and software for remote sensing and GIS.
  • (603) 646-1273

Mineral Collections

  • An online database of Mineral and Rock samples.

Materials Characterization

  • A series of labs dedicated to material characterization.

Computing Lab

  • A set of high performance computing laboratories with specialized software.
  • (603) 646-0316


  • A desktop SEM-EDS facility (see the Rippel Lab for additional EM resources)
  • (603) 646-8937

Petrography Lab

  • A laboratory for thin section analyses and collection of petrographic data.