In Earth Sciences our research provides a fundamental understanding of the key natural processes that have governed the development of planet Earth over its 4.5 billion-year history. We provide a stimulating and well-equipped environment for interdisciplinary research and foster strong links with colleagues in biodiversity and ecosystems, geography and in planetary science.
Two widely recognised strengths that underpin much of our research are: (i) the exploitation of our analytical expertise for developing novel methodologies understanding and quantifying the rates of Earth processes; (ii) innovation in field-based research that is complementary to our analytical work, including pioneering work in mountain areas and on coastal rock exposures.
Academic and research staff in Earth Sciences are collaborating on a wide range of transdisciplinary projects that currently focus on palaeoenvironmental change, isotope geochemistry and geochronology, mountain uplift and orogenic evolution, stratigraphy and sedimentology, oceanography and palaeoceanography, and volcano dynamics. Research students form an integral and highly valued component within all our research projects.
Our analytical laboratories are well equipped and lie at the forefront of technological development. Our world class clean chemical laboratories for sample preparation allow us to undertake cutting-edge geochemical and isotope geochemistry research. Analytical facilities include a high resolution multi-collector inductively coupled mass spectrometer (MC ICP-MS, Neptune), two quadruple mass spectrometer for trace element analysis including an Agilent triple quadruple, which can analyse solutions or be coupled to our new laser ablation system and electron microprobe for spatially resolved major element concentration and mapping work. A laser argon geochronology and noble gas analysis laboratory has been pioneered by our Earth scientists. Supporting facilities include image processing, environmental sciences, micro- and macro-palaeontological preparation, and a range of geophysical equipment.