Analytical Equipment

Carlo Erba NA1500 Carbon/Nitrogen/Sulfur Analyzer, and EG&G Ortec Alpha Spectrometer

carbon nitrogen sulfur analyzer and spectrometer

This instrument has been used primarily to analyze carbon in sediments, both as calcite and as organic carbon, in support of research into the oceanic carbon cycle. Oceanic processes play a large role in the regulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and therefore in the greenhouse effect. It has also proven useful in investigating the effects of different agricultural practices on soils, and in determining how nitrogen moves between these soils, the crops grown on them, and both the ground and surface water regimes.

To the right of it, the much smaller brown instrument is the EG&G Ortec Alpha spectrometer, used to measure the activity of alpha-emitters, such as 210Pb, in recent sediments. These function as geochronometers and allow determination of the time elapsed since the sediments were deposited, to a maximum age of approximately 100 years. For example, the response of glaciers in Alaska to recent climate changes, as preserved in the sedimentary record, can be studied by means of this instrument.

Dr. Paul Loubere maintains both the Carlo Erba C/N/S analyzer and the EG&G Ortec Alpha spectrometer in his laboratory.