Department of Geology

Laboratory for Mineral Deposits Research



The core facilities of the LMDR include a fully functioning hydrothermal experimental lab, a wet chemistry lab, an optical/diamond cell lab, and a sample preparation laboratory.


The Hydrothermal Laboratory is well-equipped for high-temperature, high-pressure experimentation. The lab includes a 100 MPa gas intensifier (Tem-Pres, Inc.), 1000 MPa-1400oC internally heated gas pressure vessels (Yoder design), multiple Rene '41, Inconel, and Stellite 25 cold-seal units (Tuttle type), four TZM vessels plus appropriate furnaces, one-atmosphere platinum wound quench furnaces for mixed gas, controlled atmosphere work, multiple 1/2" inner diameter, rapid-quench cold-seal pressure vessels (Rene and Waspaloy), twelve Kanthal/Nichrome-wound tube furnaces of various sizes; most are multiply wound for temperature gradient control; we also have multiple clam shell-type furnaces. Appropriate glass blowing and welding facilities are also present.


The Wet Chemistry Laboratory is equipped for wet chemical analysis and preparation of experimental starting materials, a Corning/Barnsted water still for (double) deionization and distillation, a fully-equipped Leitz research polarizing microscope including a system for the analysis of fluid inclusions, a Pekin Elmer atomic absorption spectrophotometer with graphite furnace, and appropriate (micro) pH meters, all to support the preparation of experimental starting materials, and the analysis of run products.


The Optical Microscopy/Diamond Cell Laboratory contains a variety of research-grade microscopes for use in transmitted and reflected light microscopy, and four hydrothermal diamond anvil cells (HDAV) with appropriate video equipment to record experiments.


The Sample Preparation Laboratory for the LMDR contains an extensive collection of experimental starting materials and over 1000 synthetic and natural specimens donated by the USGS for use in experiments, appropriate research balances, sample mounting and polishing equipment, and a research library.


Also Available


A variety of other equipment is available for use to members of the LMDR:


A JEOL 8900 Superprobe Electron Probe Microanalyzer (EPMA), purchased with funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of the Army, is located in the AIMLab. The EPMA is equipped with 5 WDS spectrometers (detection of elements Be-U), an ultra-thin window EDS system (B-U), and an Oxford (Gatan) mini-CL detector. The system has a high-precision, high-speed, large sample stage optimized for mapping large areas (this section-size), and for automated point analyses. The EPMA, whose operation is overseen by P.Piccoli, is routinely used to analyze solid run products from our experiments.


In order to analyze trace metals in solid run products, we use the Plasma Mass Spectrometry Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Richard Ash and Prof. Bill McDonough. Two laser ablation systems and Aridus desolvating nebulizer systems are connected to a ThermoElectron Element 2, a single collector instrument, which allows for the quantification of metal concentrations in run products down to the ppb range.




This work would not be possible without the support of the National Science Foundation, the Department of Geology, and the University of Maryland.


©2003-2018 Laboratory for Mineral Deposits Research