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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:


More information and analytical/processing costs.

The LA-ICPMS lab includes a Thermo Element2 HR-ICPMS


and a New Wave Research193 nm Ar-F excimer laser.


Scanning Electron Microscope


FEI Quanta 600 variable-pressure and environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) equipped with a backscattered electron detector, a cathodoluminescence detector, an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS), and an electron backscatter diffraction detector (EBSD).



Riegl VZ-400 portable, high resolution, 3D terrestrial scanner (LIDAR) with integrated GPS and digital camera.

Paleomagnetic Core Drill


Stihl MS 260 portable core drill for paleomagnetic sampling.

Computer Lab

Department computing facility, including 25 PC computers with standard Microsoft Office, Adobe applications, and other geologic software. 


Clean Lab


Clean lab for isotope sample preparation.

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Experimental fluid lab for geophysical research applications.

Rock Preparation Lab

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 include:  Bico UA V-Belt Pulverizer, Sturtevant 2 X 6 Roll Jaw Crusher, and SPEX 8500 Shatterbox.

Thin Sectioning Equipment

Buehler PetroThin automated thin sectioning equipment.

Wilfley Table

Wilfley laboratory concentrating table Model 13A.

High Termperature Furnace

High-temperature (1700º C) furnace for XRF geochemical sample preparation.


See YouTube video of glass bead preparation at:

Frantz Isodynamic Magnetic Separator

Frantz Isodynamic Magnetic Separator Model L-1 (modified to LB-1).



Field Vehicles

Field access via three 12-passenger Ford vans (one shared with Biology) and two Crew Cab 4X4 pickup trucks.

Hydrology Sampling Equipment

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

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.


Extensive rock, mineral, fossil, and map collections.

Research Vessel

Ocean Studies Institute consortium use of the research vessel Yellowfin.

Desert Studies Center Field Station


CSU consortium use of the Desert Studies Center field station at Zzyzx.

Seismology Computer Lab

Tomography results from the computer lab

A powerful computer cluster allows for solving complex geophysical problems (More details to be posted soon).


PurpleAir Classic Air Quality Monitor

Mounted on the roof of Live Oak Hall, a PurpleAir monitor provides real-time air quality information:
(Real-Time Monitor)