• geological sciences

Facilities and Instrumentation

The CSUN Department of Geological Sciences contains laboratory facilities for research in geophysics, hydrology, paleontology, petrology, sedimentary geology, and structural geology. Department equipment is dedicated for use by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

Our resources include:

  • LA-ICPMS lab that includes a Thermo Element2 HR-ICPMS with a New Wave Research 193 nm Ar-F excimer laser
  • FEI Quanta 600 variable-pressure and environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) equipped with a backscattered electron detector, a cathodoluminescence detector, and an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS)
  • Riegl VZ-400 portable, high resolution, 3D terrestrial scanner (LIDAR) with integrated GPS and digital camera
  • Leica TCR and TC307 electronic total stations for high-precision field surveying and mapping
  • Stihl MS 260 portable core drill for paleomagnetic sampling
  • Department computing facility, including 11 PC computers with standard Microsoft Office, Adobe applications, and other geologic software. The lab is also equipped with large worktables, black/white and color printers, a wide-format scanner and a 42” color plotter.
  • Clean lab (in final stage of construction) for isotope sample preparation
  • Experimental fluid lab for geophysical research applications
  • Rock preparation laboratory equipped with a variety of rock saws for rock sample processing and trimming
  • Rock crushing and powdering equipment to prepare samples for chemical analysis
  • Wilfley laboratory concentrating table Model 13A
  • Automated thin sectioning equipment
  • Sample polishing equipment
  • High-temperature (1700º C) furnace for petrologic experimentation. See YouTube video of glass disk preparation at:
  • Field access via two 12-passenger Ford vans (one shared with Biology), Crew Cab 4X4 pickup truck, Dodge Durango (shared with IT), and 8’ utility trailer
  • Hydrology sampling equipment includes Digimeter S9000 flowmeter, YSI 6920 conductivity/temperature meter, Solinstruments 101 water level meter YSI, PH and temperature probe, YSI 55-2S dissolved oxygen meter, and Hach 2100P ratioing turbidimeter
  • Geophysical equipment includes two RefTek 130 and two 72A-02 digital seismograph systems, several Teledyne Geotech Accelocorders (A700, A800, A900), Geometrics Strataview 24-channel refraction seismograph system, and a GeoMetrics proton magnetometer
  • A variety of research and student petrographic microscopes
  • Extensive rock, mineral, fossil, and map collections
  • Ocean Studies Institute consortium use of the research vessel Yellowfin
  • CSU consortium use of the Desert Studies Center field station at Zzyzx