The departmental laboratories are housed in the Museum Building. The department has a range of laboratories suitably equipped for:

  • fundamental sediment, soil and plant analyses
  • specialised ecological, palynological, meteorological, fluvial, hydrological and surveying work.

Geomorphology Laboratory

The Geomorphology Laboratory is the primary teaching laboratory within the Department. The laboratory is mainly used for soil and sediment-based work as well as any low risk laboratory work. The laboratory houses the main drying oven within the Department as well as a furnace, fine and rough balances, sieve shaking apparatus and stereomicroscopes.

Basement Laboratory

The Department of Geography basement contains a particle size analysis (PSA) laboratory, the main store of field equipment and a G.I.S research space. The technical staff must be consulted before this area is used.

The PSA laboratory houses the Malvern Mastersizer 3000 particle size analyser.

Malvern Mastersizer 3000

The Mastersizer 3000 is an instrument designed to measure particle size. It measures particle size by laser diffraction which is based around the principle that particles passing through a laser beam of known wavelength will scatter light at an angle that is directly related to their size.

A particle size analyser such as the Malvern Mastersizer 3000 measures the angular distribution and intensity of the diffracted light by particles in suspension. Large particles will scatter light at narrow angles with high intensity whereas small particles scatter at wider angles with low intensity.

In the Geography Department the Malvern Mastersizer 3000 is used for measuring the particle size of soils and sediments. Laser diffraction is now widely used for analysing soil particle size and in the Geography Department the main standard operating procedure used follows methods outlined in Sperazza et al (2004).
The particle size analyser is used for research and teaching. All enquiries concerning costs, booking etc should be directed to Elaine Treacy (Ext 1122