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Methods we use in the UVM Cosmogenic Lab

With the completion of the rebuilt laboratory, we are changing many of our sample preparation and extraction methods. They will be posted here as we complete method revision.

Rock and sediment are prepared in our rock room on the first floor before being taken upstairs to the mineral separation laboratory for quartz isolation. Here we crush, grind, sieve, wash and magnetically separate materials as well as pulverize material for meteoric 10-Be analysis.
Download Rock Room Lab Safety Manual with methods

Quartz is extracted from rock and sediment using a series of physical and chemical treatments.
Download Quartz Purification Lab Safety Manual with methods

The extracted quartz is tested for purity and re-purified until the impurity level has stabilized at levels usually less than 100 ppm.
Download Quartz Purity Testing Method

We do a final acid etching, rinsing and drying of all quartz in the clean lab prior to dissolution using teflon beakers.
Download Final Quartz Etching Method

Be-10 and Al-26 present in the quartz mineral lattice are extracted using a multi-acid dissolution followed by anion and cation exchange and pH-specific precipitation to separate and purify Al and Be from other cations and to reduce boron levels so that precise and accurate AMS measurements can be made.
Download Be/Al Extraction Method

Be-10 adhered to the surface of sediment and soil grains is extracted using a flux method modified from that developed and perfected by John Stone at the University of Washington.
Download Meteoric Be Extraction Method

You can click here to access old methods we used before the construction of the new laboratory in 2008.

Additionally, you can download some methods below that helped us design the protocols we used with great success until 2007.

  • Old methods for Mineral Separation Laboratory (.pdf)
  • Method using HCl to remove CaCO3 (.pdf)
  • Be/Al extraction methods from colleague Darryl Granger of Purdue University (.pdf)
  • Be/Al extraction methods from University of Pennsylvania (.pdf)
  • Technique for quantitative separation of quartz from feldspars (.pdf)

    Chapters on pertinent Elements from Handbook of Geochemistry

  • Fischer, K. and H. Puchelt, 1972, Handbook of Geochemistry Chapter 56- Barium, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg (download pdf)

  • Christ, C.L. and H. Harder, 1969, Handbook of Geochemistry Chapter 5- Boron, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg (download pdf)

  • Brehler, B. and R. Fuge, 1974, Handbook of Geochemistry Chapter 17- Chlorine, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg (download pdf)

  • Cocco, G., L. Fanfani, P.Z. Zanazzi, K.S. Heier, and G.K. Billings, 1969, Handbook of Geochemistry Chapter 3- Lithium, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg (download pdf)

  • Bayer, G., J.J.W. Rogers, J.A.S. Adams, and U.K. Haack, 1974, Handbook of Geochemistry Chapter 90- Thorium, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg (download pdf)

  • Pertlik, F., J.J.W. Rogers, J.A.S. Adams, and U.K. Haack, 1969, Handbook of Geochemistry Chapter 92- Uranium, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg (download pdf)

  • Connect with us on social media! We are on Instagram and NSF UVM Community Cosmogenic Facility on Facebook.