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Department of Earth Sciences


The main activity of the department’s thin section workshop is making sections of rock samples for teaching and research. Sections may be prepared for examination by light microscopy, electron probe, cathodoluminescence, SEM etc. Preparations include ‘standard’ (30µm) thin sections, polished thin sections and polished resin blocks. These services are available to undergraduates as well as research and academic staff in the department.

Do you need a thin section of your rock sample?


As well as preparing samples for our departmental staff and students, we can also offer a section-making service to non-departmental clients. If you are looking for good quality preparations of your samples, then we may be able to help. We have experience of most rock types. If your samples require non-standard preparation (e.g. soils, sands, water-sensitive materials), please call first us to discuss turnaround times and prices.


Whether you are a professional or amateur geologist, or a student studying earth sciences or an educational establishment teaching geology and you are interested in our thin section services, please contact:


Ian Chaplin -

(0191) 3342327

Thin Section Services
Earth Sciences Department
 of Durham
Science Laboratories
South Road