The Earth Sciences program is supported by specialized labs for research in hydrogeology, hydrology, soil biogeochemistry, mineralogy, paleontology, paleoclimatology, sedimentology, paleolimnology, and paleo-oceanography.

Additional support is available through allied faculty in the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Geography.

Dedicated Labs and Facilities

    Paleontology Laboratories Collections (340)

    Dr. Rodney Feldmann and Dr. Carrie Schweitzer manage the paleontology laboratories and collections of the Department of Earth Sciences. The Paleontology Collection is housed in McGilvrey Hall, Room 340. The collection consists of over 12,500 cataloged specimens, including a comparative collection of over 2,500 fossil decapod crustaceans. In addition, several hundred extant species of decapods, along with other invertebrates, are housed in the spirit collection. Other significant collections include a large collection of trace fossils from northeastern Ohio, and approximately 5,000 specimens in the teaching collection.

    The microscopy and imaging facilities include a Leica DM EP polarizing microscope with phase contrast and darkfield illumination and a Z6 macroscope, both equipped with a Spotflex digital imaging system as well as several Wild M5 binocular scopes. A Nikon D3100 camera with an AF-S micro Nikkor 60 mm lens and copystand facilitate macrophotography.

    The fossil preparatory laboratory contains a Leica MZ6 binocular microscope on a boom arm; two Murray Engineering Microjacks and a Chicago Pneumatic Airscribe; SS White Model-K Airbrasive unit; and an ultrasonic bath, Soiltest drying oven, and a fume hood.

    The thin section laboratory contains a Highland Park trim saw, a Buehler Isomet Low Speed Saw, Leco VP-50 and VP160 precision lap wheels, a Hillquist thin section machine, a Shel Lab SVAC2E vacuum oven, and a portable vacuum chamber.

    Paleoclimate, Physical Properties and Environmental Remote Sensing lab

    Dr. Joseph Ortiz manages the Paleoclimate, Physical Properties and Environmental Remote Sensing lab (in rooms 140 and 334). This lab maintains instrumentation for analysis of water and sediment samples in the lab and the field for paleoclimate and remote sensing validation studies in aquatic and terrestrial environments. 

    Room 140 holds

    Sedimentology & Water Quality labFor sediment and rock core analysis, the facility houses a Bartington MS2 magnetic susceptibility meter, with a point and loop sensor. A Bruker Tracer IV-SD hand-held XRF multi-element scanner is available for use in the X-ray analytical lab.  Two different instruments are available for automated grain size analysis, a Retch Camsizer for analysis of grains coarser than 32 um (medium sand size particles), and a Malvern/Panalytical Mastersizer 2000 for analysis of grains finer than 100um (coarse sand size). A top-load balance is available for low precision sample mass measurements. There are also facilities for washing and wet sieving samples, a high temperature oven and bench space for sample analysis and computers for instrument control and data processing. A LISST-100x in situ Laser Particle Size analyzer and a Sontek Argonaut-XR ADV characterize sediment particles and water column velocity profiles. The facility has a walk in refrigerator and chest freezer for cold and frozen sample storage.

    Room 334 holds

    Paleoclimate & Physical Properties Lab

    This lab houses facilities for washing and wet sieving samples; a drying oven, four high-powered dissecting microscopes for micropaleontology, and bench space for sample analysis and computers for instrument control and data processing. A three-place analytical Ohaus Explorer balance is available for weighing samples and chemical storage locker hold reagents safely. There are two Konica-Minolta UV/VIS CM2600d spectrophotometers for analysis of sediment lithology.

    For water quality and environmental remote sensing work, the lab includes three factory radiance-calibrated, Malvern/Panalytical ASD spectroradiometers: a FieldSpec 4 Standard Resolution (SR) VSWIR spectroradiometer (350-2500nm), a FieldSpec HH2 Pro VNIR spectroradiometer (400-900nm), and a FieldSpec HH2 VNIR spectroradiometer (400-900nm). The Malvern/Panalytical ASD spectroradiometers are equipped with radiometrically-calibrated 10-degree foreoptics for field measurement of calibrated absolute surface reflectance, radiometrically-calibrated reflective RCR (4SR) or diffuse RCR cosine theta receptors (HH2 Pro and HH2) for field measurement of downwelling solar irradiance and the diffuse to global ratio. Two high intensity/high bright contact probes are available for calibrated measurement of absolute reflectance of filtered water samples and powered sediment samples. The FieldSpec 4 SR is also equipped with a Leaf Clip for in vivo measurement of transmittance across plant leaves. A bbe+ Fluoroprobe multichannel fluorometer and custom towing body are used for identification of multiple classes of algae and cyanobacteria. A turner designs Trilogy fluorometer is available for measurement of nutrients, chlorophyll-a and other plant pigments from water samples. 

    Biogeochemical Oceanography and Soil Science

    B.O.S.S. LabThe Biogeochemical Oceanography Soil Science wet chemistry lab in McG 215 has a Sorvall Legend X1 centrifuge, drying ovens, a fume hood, an Orion expandable ion analyzer, EA 920 bench top pH meter, Milli-Q Integral Water Purification System (EMD Millipore), analytical balance, and general laboratory supplies (pipettes, glassware). 

    The B.O.S.S. experimental lab in 141 will house soil and sediment experiments and incubations. Sediment and soil processing equipment in 141 include a SPEX 8000M Mixer/Mill with tungsten carbide vials, a muffle furnace, and Humbolt sample splitter.  In addition, available field equipment includes educational Vernier probes (temperature, pH, ORP, DO, and GPS) and an environmental soil auger kit. Field-deployable sensors include one soil gas carbon dioxide probe (Vaisala), one soil gas oxygen probe (Apogee), three soil moisture/electrical conductivity/temperature probes (Decagon Devices, GS3), and a micrometeorological station (Decagon Devices).  

    Analytical Geochemistry laboratories (338, 341)

    Analytical Geochemistry labThe analytical lab in 341 houses a Thermo Scientific iCAP PRO XP ICP-OES for elemental analysis of waters, as well was sediment digestions and extractions. It also houses a Picarro G2131-i Gas Analyzer and associated front-ends capable of measuring carbon isotope values of carbon dioxide, carbonate, and DIC samples.

    McGilvrey 338 houses a Shimadzu total organic carbon analyzer (TOC-L + SSM-5000A) for analysis of organic and inorganic carbon in solution and solid-phase; a Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-2100 ion chromatography system; a Nicolet iS50 FT-IR Spectrometer with Attenuated Total Reflection; and a Shimadzu UV-1800 UV-Visible spectrophotometer. 

    Environmental Mineralogy and Geochemistry

    Environmental Mineralogy and Geochemistry labThe Environmental Mineralogy and Geochemistry Lab in 209 managed by Dr. David Singer houses a Coy Labs Anaerobic Chamber, Millipore Water purification system (Milli-Q A10), Benchtop analytical chemical analyses (pH, dissolved oxygen), Nitrogen gas purging system, drying oven, and the Mineralogy and Geochemical Modeling software (Crystal Maker and The Geochemists Workbench). The group manages a Hitachi SEM and Rigaku XRD, which are shared resources. A Perkin-Elmer ICP-OES 8000, housed in Cunningham Hall is also available for use. It is co-owned and operated by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Earth Sciences.

    Hydrogeology Research (231, 217)

    Hydrogeology Research labDr. Kuldeep Singh manages research facilities in areas of pore-scale to field-scale hydrogeology, which includes computational modeling facilities, laboratory experimentation facilities, and field monitoring equipment. Computational resources include various open-source and licensed codes/software, e.g., Comsol Multiphysics, Matlab, and Avizo which can be run on in-house workstations or OSC supercomputing facility of OSU. Laboratory experimentation set-up includes a microfluidic flow system by ElveFlow Micro Fluidics, and custom-built meter-scale column flow systems, a.k.a Darcy tubes. Besides, collaborative work is conducted at the Liquid Crystal Institute of KSU where students can use instruments such as Atomic Force Microscopy, Confocal Laser Microscopy, goniometers, SEM, and TEM. Field monitoring equipment includes several Level-700 TROLLS with built-in data loggers to monitor pressure, depth, and temperature, and Level-200 TROLLS to monitor water quality parameters such as total dissolved solids, electrical conductivity, and temperature. These research facilities at the multiscale porous media are to assist in developing the theory or novel constitutive equations of how geology contributes to fluid dynamics and contaminant or nutrient transport in porous media. 

    Solid Phase Characterization Laboratory (139)

    X Ray LabThis multi-user facility allows for full characterization of soil, sediment, and rock samples to determine bulk mineralogical and elemental composition, and grain and sub-grain-scale texture and morphology. The instrumentation includes: a Hitachi TM3030 Tabletop Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with Bruker Quantax 70 Plus Energy Dispersive Spectrometer; Panalytical Epsilon 3XLE benchtop energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometer; and a Rigaku MiniFlex X-ray diffractometer (XRD) with PDXL software including the Whole Pattern Powder Fitting (WPPF) method, connected to the ICDD PDF-2 database. The XRD was purchased through NSF-EAR-IF grant #1658681.

    Paleolimnology Lab (313, 315)

    Dr. Alison J. Smith manages the Paleolimnology Lab, which houses a Virtis Freeze Dryer, two ultrasonic water baths, a freezer and refrigeration unit, as well as field equipment for lake coring and aquatic sediment and field sampling for water and isotope analysis. Sediment samples are processed for microfossils in this lab. In an adjoining room to this lab, microscopes and microfossil type collections are housed and used in microfossil identification and analysis.

    Watershed Hydrology Lab (333)

    Watershed hydrology labThis lab serves as a staging area for field research campaigns and subsequent sample storage and analysis. Field equipment housed within the lab includes three ISCO 6712 auto-samplers, with area-velocity flow modules; two Global Water stormwater samplers; a Marsh-McBirney flow meter; MasterFlex ES portable sampler peristaltic pump; YSI multi-parameter sondes; a Dynamax SM150 soil moisture probe; a Topcon ES total station, refrigerator for soil and water sample storage, drying oven, and many Hobo water level loggers, DO loggers, and temperature/specific conductance loggers. Sample preparation for analysis on the Picarro L-2130i water isotope analyzer also occurs in the lab. The lab also contains a workstation for hydrologic modeling, GIS and data analysis; laptop for interfacing with the various data loggers; and many tools for constructing field gear. 

    Earth Processes Physical Modeling Laboratory (118)

    Em River Stream TableThis laboratory contains analogue models for simulating earth surface and subsurface processes for research and teaching. The lab includes a 3 m Emriver stream table, 2 m Emriver stream table with wavemaker, a sandbox for scaled modelling of tectonic deformation, and an Armbruster flume, along with apparatuses for collecting photogrammetric, video, and direct physical measurements of surface topography and subsurface structures. The lab is also set up to sieve and store the media used in the models. The laboratory supports research and interactive demonstrations and laboratory exercises for How the Earth Works, Structural Geology, Tectonics and Orogeny, and special topics in hydrology and fluvial geomorphology.

    Geochemical Prep and Weighing Labs (131B, 204A)

    Geochemical Prep labOur Geochemical Weighing lab (MCG 204A) is equipped with a microbalance (elemental combustion analysis) and a semi-microbalance (trace element analysis). The Geochemical Prep Laboratory (MCG 131B) is equipped with Claisse LeNeo Fusion Fluxer, Carver pellet press, Spex Ball Mill and solid digestion setup for geological, biological, and water analysis. Our instrumentation includes a Costech 4010 Elemental Analyzer for light elemental analysis: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur, and Benchtop Epsilon 3XLE Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (major and minor elemental analysis).

    Biogeochemical Oceanography and Soil Science: Experiment Lab (141)

    The B.O.S.S. experimental lab in 141 houses soil and sediment experiments and incubations. There are two field-deployable continuous flow gas analyzers capable of high-precision measurements of O2 and CO2: a Field Metabolic System (Sable Systems) and a Foxbox (Sable Systems). Programmable logic controllers are available along with customizable manifold blocks for automation of experiments and other gas analyses. Field deployable sensors include soil moisture and temperature probes, soil gas probes, and meteorological sensors. 

    Additional Rock and Soil Equipment (134)

    Dr. David Hacker manages the research facilities in engineering geology. Separate labs in soil mechanics and rock mechanics with specialized instrumentation include equipment for measuring elastic constants, a consolidation test apparatus, and a Los Angeles abrasion machine.

    Instrumentation, Equipment, and Software

    Earth Sciences Research Instrumentation
    • ElveFlow Micro Fluidic System
    • ThermoFisher iCap Pro Duo ICP
    • Picarro High Isotopic Carbon Analyzer
    • Malvern Panalytical FieldSpec 4
    • Ocean Insight Spectrometer
    • Sable Systems Field Metabolic System
    • Epsilion 3 XLE Benchtop Energy Dispersion X-Ray Fluorescence
    • Costech 4010 Elemental Analyzer (C.H.N.O.S)
    • Hitachi Benchtop Scanning Electron Microscope TM3030
    • Shimadzu UV-1800 UV-Visible Spectrophotometer
    • Picarro L2130-i Analyzer (H2O)
    • Coy Laboratory Anaerobic Chamber
    • Millipore Direct Q-3 water purification system
    • Shimadzu TOC-L Total Organic Carbon Analyzer with SSM-5000A for solid samples
    • Quantitative X-Ray Powder Diffraction Analysis: MiniFlex 6G 6th Generation Benchtop X-ray Diffractometer, with Diffracted Beam Monochromator for D/teX Ultra 0D mode and High Speed Detector, and PDXL Comprehensive Analysis Package
    • Perkin-Elmer ICP-OES 8000, housed in Cunningham Hall, co-owned and operated by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Geology. Contact David Costello (330) 672-2035, 017 Cunningham Hall, for more information.
    • Dionex ICS-2100 chromatography system
    • Bruker Tracer IV-SD hand-held XRF multi-element scanner
    • Minolta CM-2600d Spectrophotometer (2)
    • Bartington MS2 magnetic susceptibility meter
    • Hach Hydrolab DS5X Multiparameter Sonde capable of measuring temperature, pressure, conductivity, DO, pH, ORP, Turbidity, Chla, and Phycocyannin
    • Malvern Mastersizer 2000 Laser Particle Size analyzer (with dedicated still) (in USDA Certified Soils Lab)
    • Retch Camsizer Video Particle Size analyzer (in USDA Certified Soils Lab)
    • LISST-100x in situ Laser Particle Size analyzer
    • Mooring Systems Gimbaled ADCP benthic tripod for instrument deployment
    • AMS Custom 1 1/4 " diameter x 1 meter-long lined coring system with slide hammer and coring extensions capable of coring to 5 m depth
    • Hydrological sampling kit with plankton net, 0.5 m gravity core, and kick net benthic sampling net
    • Topcon Total Station ES
    • bbe+ Fluoroprobe multichannel fluorometer for identification of multiple classes of algae and cyanobacteria
    • Sonteck Argonaut-XR ADV
    General Laboratory and Field Equipment
    • Three high-power binocular microscopes for foraminiferal taxonomy
    • Reflected and transmitted light digital photography
    • Dissecting microscopes with photomicroscopy
    • Two freeze driers
    • Low and high temperature ovens
    • Shaker tables and washing sinks
    • Walk-in refrigerator and chest freezers for sample storage
    • Materials preparation lab for macro- and micropaleontological studies
    • Prep facility for XRF and EA analysis
    • Prep facility for trace element work for rock chemistry
    • Prep facilities for paleomagnetic analysis, petrography, rock and thin-section preparation
    • pH- and DO-probes
    • Brunton compasses
    • Garmin eTrex GPS units
    • Garmin Monterra GPS units
    • LeNeo Fusion System
    • Santarious Microbalance
    • Spex Ball Mill
    • Carver Press System
    • Muffle Furnace (Loss on Ignition)
    • Level-700 TROLLS with built-in data loggers to monitor pressure, depth, and temperature
    • Level-200 TROLLS to monitor water quality parameters
    • Darcy tubes for column experiments
    • ESRI ArcGIS (Kent State holds a campus-wide site license for a number of ESRI products, including ArcGIS and extensions, ArcView 3.3 and extensions, ArcGIS Engine, ArcIMS 91, ArcSDE 91, ArcPad 6 and others)
    • PCI Geomatica: remote sensing and image processing
    • IDL
    • RocScience: geotechnical analysis and design software
    • Helicon Focus Pro: image interpolation
    • SPSS: statistical analysis
    • Watershed Modeling System (WMS)
    • MDI JADE 9.5+ and Qual S/M with NIST ICSD database
    • SigmaPlot 12
    • Comsol Multiphysics
    • Matlab
    • Avizo