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Durham University

Durham Geochemistry Centre

Collaborative and Commercial Work

The Durham Geochemistry Group has a broad range of expertise in stable and radiogenic isotope analysis, and their application in Earth, Environmental, Physical, Biological, Medical and Archaeological Sciences.

Arthur Holmes laboratories: We are the only laboratory in the UK which undertakes high-precision platinum group trace element and isotope analysis analysis, including Pt and Os isotope measurement using N-TIMs, and in-situ measurement using laser ablation coupled with MC-ICP-MS, and we maintain a strong international reputation in this field. We also specialise in the application of Sr, Nd, Pb, and Hf radiogenic isotopes and Fe, Sr, Si, Li, Cu, Zn and Mo stable isotopes involved in geochemical processes in the hydrosphere, for tracing pollution, and sedimentary provenance, as well as more traditional geological applications such as mantle geochemistry and crustal evolution. Isotope measurements are complemented by trace element analysis, using ICP-MS, allowing elemental determination down to parts per billion concentrations, using solution analysis or laser ablation of solid samples.

The Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory: is focused on the analysis of modern, historic and palaeontological systems through the use of stable isotope ratios, and in particular, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Hydrogen. The isotopes can be measured in carbonates, waters, silicates and organic materials.

Source Rock and Sulfide Geochronology and Geochemistry Laboratory:

Specialises in the application of the rhenium-osmium (Re-Os) geochronometer to both the mineral and petroleum sectors. This isotope system can provide otherwise unavailable geological time constraints and source identification of resources (e.g., Cu, Au, crude oil) that gives mineral or petroleum companies an enhanced economic advantage by improving reserves, reducing exploration budgets, and minimising the environmental impacts of exploration.


Our collaborative and commercial rates vary depending upon the nature of the sample, preparation procedures, size of the project and combination of analyses requested. Enquiries or requests for quotations should be addressed to the appropriate staff member, as follows:

Research-specific enquiries:

Research Field Name Telephone email
Radiogenic and Unconventional Isotope Geochemistry

Professor Kevin Burton

+44 (0) 191 33 44298


Dr Geoff Nowell

+44 (0) 191 33 42339


Traditional Stable isotope Geochemistry Professor Colin Macpherson +44 (0) 191 33 42283 Contact
Stable isotope and elemental geochemistry Dr Darren Gröcke +44 (0) 191 33 42282 Contact
Elemental Geochemistry

Dr Chris Ottley

+44 (0) 191 33 42325


Professor Kevin Burton

+44 (0) 191 33 44298


Re-Os analysis of shale, petroleum and sulphides Professor David Selby +44 (0) 191 33 42294 Contact