Marine Sediments Research Laboratory
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The Marine Sediment Lab's faculty, staff and students are presently involved with projects in the Cariaco Basin, the California Borderlands, the Gulf of Mexico, the eastern Equatorial Pacific and the Indonesian archipelago. One of the primary objectives of our research is the reconstruction of paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic conditions during the Neogene using deep sea sediments. Another area of research that we are involved in is quantifying the production and flux of sediments in the ocean through the use of sediment traps. In addition to measuring the production and flux of sediments, our sediment trapping projects also present us with the unique opportunity to contribute to the development and calibration of various climate proxies.
The MSRL contains the necessary equipment for processing sediments and carrying out routine geochemical analyses. Specific pieces of equipment include: JY Horiba Ultima-C ICP-AES used primarily for Mg/Ca/Sr ratio determinations along with numerous other single or multiple element concentrations; an Isoprime stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer for analyzing the oxygen and carbon isotopic composition of carbonate and the nitrogen and carbon isotopic composition of organic matter, a UIC Coulometer for inorganic carbon measurements, a Perkin Elmer 2400 Elemental Analyzer for measuring total carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen concentrations in sediments; 7 automated sediment traps deployed to collect a time series of particulate fluxes in the open ocean; a Seabird SEACAT CTD capable of measuring temperature, conductivity, pressure, oxygen concentration and transmissivity in the water column; numerous computers used for data processing and remote sensing; and equipment for maintaining deep-sea moorings including Argos transmitters, acoustic releases and flotation spheres. We have a core storage facility which includes core racks, fume hood, freezers and a walk-in cooler for sample storage. Please follow the links at the top of this page to learn more about who we are and what we do in the Marine Sediments Lab.