Research

Facilities

The MAGNET program unites key state-of-the-art laboratories from across Canada, creating a network that offers trainees access to a wide range of rapidly evolving technologies and principles of analytical geochemistry.

Research Center in Geochemistry and Geodynamics (UQAM, UQAC and McGill)

GEOTOP is a strategic grouping of human resources, analytical and calculation capability in the field of Earth sciences. GEOTOP offers an internationally competitive research and training environment that provides answers to immediate and/or fundamental problems regarding the state of planet Earth and its short or long-term changes in response to natural and anthropogenic forcings. The GEOTOP laboratories at UQAM are equipped with several specialized clean labs allowing separation and purification of chemical elements, including Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, U-Th- Pb, Re-Os, three thermal ionization mass spectrometers (TIMS: Sector, Sector54 and TritonPlus), a Nu Plasma II MC-ICP-MS, a Nu Attom HR-ICP-MS, a Photon Machine G2 laser system, a large array of dual inlet and continuous flow mass spectrometers, as well as basic elemental geochemistry instruments.
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Earth Materials Laboratory (UQAC)

LabMaTer is specialized in whole rock and mineral analysis of ore deposits, but also analyzes a wide variety of other materials such as archaeological artefacts and biological materials (otolith). We are particularly interested in ores associated with mafic and ultramafic rocks. We have developed methods to determine whole rock concentrations of elements important to the formation of the ores such as sulfur and selenium (which indicate the presence of these ores in the vicinity) in whole rocks at very low levels. This information is combined with textural studies, whole rock analysis of the ore elements and in-situ analysis of sulfides and oxides. This is used to help in understanding the petrogenesis, the exploration and the exploitation of platinum-group elements, nickel, chrome, vanadium, titanium, phosphorus and rare-earth deposits. The lab uses a wide range of equipment and methods, including micro-XRF, solution and laser ablation ICP-MS, AAS and INAA.
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Volcanology Research Laboratory (McGill)

This lab is equipped with a JEOL electron microprobe, Thermo Finnigan ICP-OES and ICP-MS with laser ablation, Reliotron cathodoluminescence system and two stable isotope mass spectrometers. The research group also employs a number of field-based stable isotope mass analyzers and UV spectrometers.
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G.G. Hatch Stable Isotope Laboratory (U of O)

The Hatch lab is equipped with five continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometers plus a complete array of peripherals for the analysis of C, H, O, N, and S isotopes in water, gases, organic liquids, organic and inorganic solids.
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Noble Gas Laboratory (U of O)

The lab hosts a MAPL 215-50 mass spectrometer for measuring the concentrations and isotopes of helium and neon in rock, water and gas samples. The facility also operates a quadrupole mass spectrometer with noble gas purification line for measuring concentrations of noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe) in waters by the spike dilution method.
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A.E. Lalonde Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (U of O)

This facility conducts cutting-edge research on the use of environmental isotopes and geochemistry in groundwater and paleoclimate studies, the movement and contamination of groundwater and the biogeochemical processes that occur in the subsurface, and also supports research in biopharmaceutical science and the development of safe disposal methods for radioactive waste in the earth’s crust.  The cornerstone of the laboratory is a custom-built 3 MV tandem accelerator mass spectrometer – the only one of its kind in Canada.
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Stable Isotope Laboratory (U of T)

Since its establishment in 1992, the Stable Isotope Laboratory has been an international leader in the applications of continuous flow compound specific isotope analysis. Facilities include a Finnigan MAT 252 gas source mass spectrometer for continuous flow carbon isotope analysis and dual inlet for carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen isotope analysis, and a Finnigan MAT Delta+-XL mass spectrometer with continuous flow isotope analysis of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen compounds. The laboratory has an extensive facility for gas chromatography, high vacuum extraction and sample preparation lines, crusher for in-line isotopic analysis of fluid inclusions and experimental facilities including anaerobic chambers.
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Trace Metal and Metal Isotope Laboratory (U of T)

The Metal Isotope Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility designed to analyze trace metals and metal isotopes in environmental samples.  This lab houses two mass spectrometers: (1) a Thermo Scientific Neptune Plus multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) with both Aridus and APEX desolvating nebulizers and (2) a Thermo Scientific XSERIES 2 quadrupole ICP-MS with collision chamber.  Facilities also include a Class 100 trace metal cleanroom with Class 100 fume hood and multiple class 100 flow benches for work with low concentration samples.  For mercury concentration analyses, the facility has an automated Tekran 2600 cold vapor AFS instrument and an automated Teledyne Leeman Hydra C combustion AA instrument.
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Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research (UBC)

The PCIGR is an integrated analytical facility that promotes research and training in the earth, environmental, oceanographic, atmospheric and biological sciences. The PCIGR is currently equipped with 3 low-level trace metal Class 1000 modular cleanrooms and 13 instruments specializing in trace element analyses of waters, rocks and minerals, in solution or in-situ (Element2 and Nu AttoM HR-ICP-MS, Agilent 7700 quadrupole ICP-MS and Resonetics M-50 laser system), U-Pb geochronology (VG54R and Sector Micromass TIMS), Sr and Nd isotopic compositions (Nu TIMS, Triton TIMS), high-precision Pb, Hf and Nd and heavy/non-traditional stable isotopic analyses (Nu Plasma HR, Nu Plasma II and Nu Plasma 1700 MC-ICP-MS), CO2 laser Ar-Ar dating (Micromass 5400 NGMS) and H, C, O, N isotopic analyses of minerals, fluids and gases (DeltaPlus and DeltaPlusXL IRMS). The PCIGR recently completed building a custom 2200 sq. ft. laboratory that houses the extended geometry Nu 1700 (unique in Canada), which allows precise and accurate isotopic measurements even for challenging isotope systems (e.g. Fe, Cr, Si).
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Environmental Interfaces Laboratory (UBC)

The EIL provides access to experimental vessels (e.g., sand tank, columns) and analytical instruments to quantify element (metals, organics) fluxes across boundaries (e.g., the ground surface). The EIL is currently equipped with two gas chromatographs, a multiplexed CO2 flux chamber system, a quadrupole mass spectrometer, and a fleet of sensors to measure CO2, O2, pressure, moisture, temperature, soil matric potential, and electrical conductivity. The EIL also offers multicomponent reactive transport modeling capabilities (MIN3P, MIN3P-DENS, MIN3P-DUSTY, MIN3P-BUBBLE, MIN3P-SOIL, MIN3P-THC).
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