Section 3.1: Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry


The research done in section 3.1 demands precise and accurate analyses of element concentrations and isotope ratios in a wide range of materials (minerals, rocks, fluids and gas) and on samples as tiny as 1 micron in diameter and with just picograms (10-12 pg) in mass. This work involves a large number of instruments and dedicated laboratories, some of which are highlighted below. But it is not always possible to bring samples to the labs and we also develop and deploy instruments for field deployment at diverse sites from the top of volcanoes to inside deep mines. An overview of our main laboratories and the types of analyses they provide is given below. Use the links to get more information on the methods, instruments and the staff scientists responsible.

Lab access and collaborations

The GFZ encourages external collaborations and the laboratories in section 3.1 are heavily used by research students and guest scientists. The Secondary Ion Mass Spectometry (SIMS) facility is part of the Modular Earth Science Infrastructure (MESI) at GFZ and operates a yearly training program for potential users. See the SIMS website  for  information and application forms.

The procedures for access to other laboratories vary, so please contact the responsible staff scientist (listed in the lab weblink) for the latest information.

The Schicks Combustor

At the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the gas hydrate research group, headed by apl. Prof. Dr. Judith Schicks, is developing a method which decomposes gas hydrates by the supply of heat. The heat is generated by a flameless catalytic combustion of methane in a so-called counter-current heat exchange reactor ‒ the Schicks Combustor.

The Geochemistry Laboratories use different analytical instruments to investigate the mineralogical and geochemical composition and properties of rocks and fluids.

Geochemistry Laboratories

Equipment: X-ray diffractometry (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), inductive coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), ion chromatography (IC), low-temperature calorimetry, gas-mass spectrometry (MS), gas chromatography (GC).

Contact persons: Dr. Anja Schleicher, Dr. Bettina Strauch, Dr. Martin Zimmer, Dr. Jessica Stammeier

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