The Research School of Earth Sciences hosts world-class equipment, which is maintained by experienced technical staff.


Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe - revolutionary micron-scale U-Pb-Th geochronology & stable isotopes for past environments...


SPEctroscopy, Characterisation and Experimental Laboratory

ICP-MS research facility; elemental, isotopic and laser analysis »

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) describes a technique where a radio frequency coupled plasma is connected to a mass spectrometer.

Accelerated solvent extractor »

The Accelerated solvent extractor (the 'DIONEX ASE 200') is an automated system for the extraction of natural products, toxins, oils and bitumens from plant tissue, soil and rock powder. For the extraction, 10 to 30 g of ground sample are placed in a clean stainless steel cell and automatically extracted in...

Accelerator mass spectrometer »

The next stage in Carbon-14 Dating at The Australian National University has commenced. With the successful ARC LIEF grant in 2005 a state of the art single stage accelerator mass spectrometer from the National Electrostatics Corporation of Middleton, Wisconsin has been delivered, tested and accepted. This new...

ANU Radiocarbon Laboratory »

We research a wide range of topics relating to the use of carbon-14 in the environment. This includes using carbon-14 for dating purposes in, for example,. archaeology and forensics.

Argon Geochronology »

Geochronology is a key geochronometer for many Earth Science disciplines.

AuScope initiative: National Argon Map »

The National Argon Map (NAM) - Geochronological evolution of Australia. The NAM project is an AuScope 2020 Pilot Project led by Dr Marnie Forster from ANU

Australian National Seismic Imaging Resource (ANSIR) »

ANSIR builds on the Major National Research Facility founded in 1997 by RSES and Geoscience Australia that has provided reflection seismic profiling and portable recording instrumentation for use in major field experiments. Since 2007 ANSIR has operated in conjunction with the Earth Imaging component of AuScope.

Cosmogenic nuclide laboratories »

Beryllium-10 laboratory (G3) RSES has a dedicated HEPA-filtered clean lab for the preparation of targets for the cosmogenic nuclide beryllium-10 (and aluminium-26). The laboratory has two scrubbed fume hoods for the use of hydrofluoric and perchloric acids and a standard hood for cation/anion...

Data visualisation laboratory »

The Data visualisation laboratory at the Research School of Earth Sciences contains two PC-type computers, the largest of which is a 4-processor machine running at 3.73 GHz with 16 GB RAM and a professional-quality NVidia graphics card. This computer is also equipped with a fast CRT monitor and active stereographic...

Eco-chemistry laboratory »

The Ecochemistry laboratory is a dynamic, research based group that focuses on questions related to trace elements in natural waters. The current focus of research is on the interaction of trace elements with phytoplankton, trace element speciation, pH and nutrient biogeochemistry, and development of biogenic opal...

Electron spin resonance spectroscopy »

The ESR spectrometer at ANU is one of the most versatile spectrometers. It has X-band and Q-band microwavebridges and measurements can be carried out between 3 and 700K. At present, there are two research foci: Dating of human fossils It has been shown repeatedly that it is difficult...

Electronics workshop »

The workshop provides a wide range of 'Design' and 'Instrumentation' services in support of research activities. Work Requests To contact the Electronics workshop about a job please use the Work Management System. Detailed instructions on the use of the system are...

Experimental Petrology Laboratory »

High-pressure apparatus The Research School of Earth Sciences has an extensive history in high pressure experimental geochemistry, maintaining a high pressure laboratory in some form for more than 50 years. At present, RSES possess a fully-equipped high pressure experimental laboratory boasting one of...

Experimental Rock Physics Laboratory »

ANU research in rock physics employs novel equipment developed in house for laboratory studies of mechanical behaviour ranging widely from time-resolved slip on synthetic faults to seismic-frequency studies of wave speeds and attenuation.

Gamma spectroscopy »

Dating studies on palaoeanthropological sites is usually carried out on material associated with the human remains, such as the sediment, charcoal or other fauna rather than the human specimen itself. The reason lies in the fact that most dating techniques are destructive and because the hominid remains are too...

Gas chromatography - mass spectroscopy »

The figure shows an Agilent 6890 gas chromatograph (GC) coupled to an AutoSpec Premier (Micromass) mass spectrometer (MS). The AutoSpec is a highly sensitive   double-focusing magnetic sector mass spectrometer that is used to detect and identify traces of apolar chemicals such as lipids, pigments, toxins...

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD) laboratory »

The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics laboratory is a purpose-built 400 sq. m laboratory for experimental fluid dynamics. This laboratory is designed for studies of fluid flow processes relevant to both solid earth geological processes and ocean-atmosphere dynamics. It includes: well-controlled...

GPS monitoring network »

Since 1998, RSES has used remote Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment in the southern Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica, to measure the present-day glacial isostatic adjustment that may be occurring there. The GPS equipment records the phase of the incoming signals transmitted by the satellites,...

Gravity monitoring equipment »

Superconducting Gravity Meter RSES operates a Superconducting Gravimeter at Mt Stromlo Observatory, continuously monitoring small changes in gravity caused by tidal, environmental and seismic effects. SG-CT031 is part of a world-wide array making precise observations of global gravity signals. Data is...

High pressure liquid chromatography »

Agilent 1100 Series HPLC & ThermoFisher LCQ™ DECA XP For the analysis of thermally labile, polar or high molecular mass compounds that are not readily analysed using GC-MS, we use a High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph (Agilent 1100 Series capillary system) coupled to an ion trap mass...

Micropaleontology and limnology laboratories »

State of the art micropaleontological laboratory and microfossil collection from The Australian region. Low-temperature room for growing micro-organisms in marine waters for geochemical analysis. Standard range of equipment for limnological investigations of inland waters.

Microscope laboratory »

RSES operates a Microscope laboratory containing transmitted light microscopes, a stereo microscope and diamond microdrill. This facility also contains Leica Cameras on two of the transmitted light microscopes, allowing users to take high resolution images to use in publication and presentations. ...

Mt. Stromlo Seismic Observatory »

The Mt Stromlo station (CAN) just outside Canberra is operated on behalf of the French Geoscope Network and provides high quality broad-band seismic data to the international community.

Noble Gas Laboratory »

Noble gases, helium, neon, argon, krypton and xenon, are extracted from geological samples by a resistively-heated, double vacuum tantalum furnace, enabling to heat as much as 2100°C, by an air actuated-type vacuum crusher, or by a diode laser heating system. After extraction, the gases are cleaned of active...

Palaeomagnetic laboratory »

Earth Environment operates the Paleomagnetic laboratory at Black Mountain. The paleomagnetic laboratory is equipped with cryogenic and spinner magnetometers, demagnetisation furnaces, alternating field demagnetiser, magnetic susceptibility apparatus, pulse magnetiser and a full range of sample collection and...

Sample preparation & microscope laboratories »

RSES has extensive facilities for mineral separation and rock preparation for geo-analysis and micro-analysis.

Stable Isotope Laboratories »

The Palaeoenvironment Stable Isotope Laboratory at RSES has a number of mass spectrometer facilities dedicated to particular types of analyses for δ13C and δ18O of carbonate samples, and δD, δ18O and δ17Oexcess of waters.  The facilities support multiple studies of...

TerraWulf Compute Cluster »

TerraWulf is a networked 'Beowulf' cluster of computers set up at RSES to provide convenient high end computing power for a range of demanding geoscience problems, particularly in the fields of thermochronology, seismology, geodesy, crustal and mantle dynamics, and landform evolution.

Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) »

RSES has a number of thermal ionisation mass spectrometers available for high quality isotope ratio measurements. TIMS measurements are supported by a purpose-built, clean laboratory with specifically designated areas for all levels of classical and non-standard dissolution and chemical extraction procedures. The...

Volatile analyser »

Volatile analyser for water and carbon content determination, and quantitative analysis of volatile-rich minerals.

Warramunga Seismic and Infrasound Research Station »

The Warramunga Seismic and Infrasound Research Station comprises a 24-element broad-band seismic array and an 8-element infrasound array in the Northern Territory. The array are stations part of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBTO) and data are telemetered to the International Data Centre in Vienna.

X-ray diffraction facility »

This facility provides mineral identification and quantification, structure refinements, and mineral analytical advice to RSES, the wider ANU community and external customers. The Empyrean Series 3 XRD accommodates various geometries, e.g., micro-XRD and Bragg-Brentano, and many sample formats (powder, solid, slurry).

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) scanning »

The Ocean and Climate Change group, led by Prof. Eelco Rohling, operate a state-of-the-art XRF scanning facility at RSES. The Avaatech core-scanner performs non-destructive analysis of elements from Mg through to U, on split sediment cores and smoothed surfaces of stalagmites, corals, rocks, etc, as well as on...