High resolution paleoclimatology at the University of Maryland

Paleoclimate CoLaboratory:
Wet lab
IRMS lab
Computing lab and multipurpose space
As of Spring 2012, the instrumentation described here a University of Maryland cost center; we accept both collaborative and contract samples for stable isotope analyses.  Contact us for analysis methods, rate quotes and turnaround times.


Kevin A.RuthMeganRuth, Megan, ToneSarahSuz, Adam,
              Ruth, MichealNick


Paleoclimate CoLaboratory.  Our focus is development of replicated, high resolution proxy records of tropical hydrometeorology and sea surface conditions using measurements on trees and corals.  In 2010 we established a new laboratory for paleoclimatology in the Chemistry Building, Department of Geology at the University of Maryland, expanding and complementing existing stable isotope facilities of the Laboratories for Geochemistry. and the Stable Isotope Laboratory.  Additional space for offices, computing, and meeting is adjacent.  Design and construction was overseen by UMD Facilities Planning, Dept of Geology and the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (now CMNS): Webb Smedley, Tom McMullen, Mike Brown, Marian Dombroski, Isaac Daniel, Chito Flores, Amante Bustamente, Tony Brown.
IRMS Lab.  Room 1216 supports four light stable isotope mass spectrometers and online sample preparation devices.   This includes multiple 230V/20A and 120V/10A circuits with isolated grounding and uninterruptible backup power; house compressed air; temperature and humidity control; dedicated venting; and multiple safety features for control of highly toxic compressed gases.  Four Micromass/ Elementar Isoprimes, one with multicollector, are currently  interfaced with online peripherals for dual inlet and continuous flow measurement of H,C,N,O, and S isotopes on carbonates, organics and water samples.  For our high resolution paleo work, one of these systems is optimized for measurements on high temperature conversion CO or combustion-generated CO2 from solid organics; another is optimized for high throughput carbonate-derived CO2 analysis on samples as small as 50ug.   A Sartorius C2P microbalance in a dedicated alcove provides 2ug repeatability on sample masses.
IRMS lab Rm 1216, click for larger picture
Wet lab.  Rm 1214 has two flow-sensor alarmed fume hoods with DI, natural gas, compressed air service, vacuum and electricity; bench space for preparation of  paleoclimatic samples from a variety of proxy archives, three microcentrifuges, one rotary microtome, and an emergency shower and eyewash. Wet lab Rm 1214; click for larger photo
Computing lab and multipurpose space.  Rm 1212 has 5 offices with space for eight faculty, staff and students, a multipurpose space with digital projector and whiteboards for group meetings, and a kitchenette.  A single high speed internet connection is switched to access IRMS computers for remote control and data analysis; a high density rackmount server provides low-overhead desktop computing via a switched Gigabit local network, thanks to thin clients, Linux and the LTSP project.  Backup is to an offsite network attached storage device. Rm 1212, click for larger image


Last modified 5/3/2013.

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