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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Facilities Links

Volcanic Health Hazards

The Volcanic Health Hazard research at Durham makes extensive use of the Electron Microscopy facility based in the Physics department, the XRD Facilities based in the Department of Chemistry, and analytical facilities based in the Geography department.

Facilities include:

  • FEG-SEM and FEG-TEM Durham GJ Russell Microscopy Facility
  • BET nitrogen absorption specific surface area analysis (Dept. of Chemistry)
  • Preparation laboratory including sieving, drying and airborne dust extraction facilities
  • XRD-PSD for quantification of single minerals in multi-phase dusts (Dept. of Chemistry)
  • Laser diffractometers for grain-size analysis (Dept. of Geography)
  • Airborne dust sampling equipment (TSI DustTrak (TM), TSI Sidepak (TM), Sioutas cascade impactor with Leland Legacy pump


The department has elemental facilities for most elements in the periodic table that are of geological and environmental importance.

Facilities Include:

  • Ultra clean lab and clean lab suite
  • Quadrupole- Inductively-coupled Plasma Spectrometry - ICP-MS
  • Inductively-coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometer - ICP-AES
  • Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometry
  • Plasma Ionisation Multicollector Mass Spectrometry
  • Microsampling - Micro Drill and Laser Ablation

Petrology and Microscopy Facilities

Petrography and Microscopy Link Banner
  • Hitachi TM-1000 Tabletop SEM Microscope
  • Optical microscopes
  • Microscope-mounted high-temperature heating stage Linkam TS1400XY
  • Textural Analysis Facility - 2D and 3D visualisation and analysis of rock textures, including high resolution texture scanning up to full thin section in PPL/XP, serial grinding rig, image capture microscope and image analysis software.
  • Thin section workshop

Volcanological Fluid Dynamics lab

Currently being set up with a range of equipment. More information will follow.

Numerical modelling and seismic imaging

  • Extensive suite of seismic processing software
  • Part share of HPC cluster 'Hamilton' which has >10,000 processing cores.
  • COMSOL Multiphysics Finite Element Modelling software.
  • LBFlow Lattice-Boltzmann fluid flow simulation software.

Scanning electron micrograph image of bubbles

Volcanic monitoring equipment in the field

TIMS Source

At work in the Fume Hoods in the Durham Geochemistry Centre

LAVA Large Analogue Volcanic Apparatus main tank

At work on the Plasma Multicollector Mass Spectrometer

3D seismic imaging of subsurface volcanic regions