Laboratory for Sediment Core Analysis

Geology Department, Union College


The Geology Department's core laboratory is designed for both teaching and research. The focus of the lab is the analysis of lake sediment cores, but the analytical instruments available are also applicable to the analysis of soil samples, and samples of any unlithified sediment such as till, loess, and fluvial deposits. The Core Lab is located in Rooms 302 and 303 of the Olin Center. Core storage was included in the design of the Olin Center, which was completed in the Fall of 1998. About 100 meters of core can be stored in the Core Lab coolers, and many kilometers of core can be stored in the ~225 square foot walk-in Cold Room in the basement of the Olin Center. Since the mid-1990's the Geology Department has made the analysis of lake sediment cores one of their principle areas of research and teaching. The Sediment Core lab was designed specifically for the analysis of lake sediment cores for student and faculty research and for teaching the course Lakes and Environmental Change. In addition, the Lab has provided considerable support for the Environmental Studies Program and Ballston Lake Initiative at Union College.
Thanks to generous funding from the Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Program of the National Science Foundation (DUE) with matching money from Union College, and from the Union College Faculty Research Fund we have been able to outfit the lab with state-of-the-art instrumentation for the analysis of lake cores. Coupled with the Geology Department's Geochemistry Laboratory, which houses among numerous instruments an ICP-mass spectrometer, and anion and cation chromatographs, the analytical facilities within the Geology Department are truly first rate. As testament to this, we routinely have graduate students and faculty from around the northeastern U.S. come to use our facilities.


Proceedure for some of the routine analyses that we perform are as follows:


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