Stable Isotope Facility

The Stable Isotope Facility was created through a partnership between Mines and the U.S. Geological Survey. At present, the facility  comprises two laboratories that are located on Mines campus and the Denver Federal Center. Both laboratories are scheduled to move into shared space in a new state-of-the-art analytical facility that will be build on Mines campus in the next years. The Stable Isotope Facility houses a wide range of analytical equipment needed for traditional stable isotope analysis of geological and environmental samples. Analytical services provided by the Stable Isotope Facility support students and faculty at Mines, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, and external visitors and collaborators from around the world who visit the facility to analyze specimens for a variety of scientific research objectives.

The Stable Isotope Facility currently houses six isotope ratio mass spectrometers allowing the analysis of a full suite of traditional stable isotopes (H, O, C, N, S) on a wide variety of geological and biological samples. The isotope ratio mass spectrometers are operated in continuous flow or as dual inlet systems. Peripheral instrumentation used routinely include elemental analyzers that allow combustion of samples and multiprep bench systems for the analysis of carbonates. 

In addition, to the dual inlet and continuous flow instrumentation and online sample preparation systems, the Stable Isotope Facility includes laboratory space used for the processing of a variety of samples for isotope analysis. This includes microbalances, drying ovens, high-temperature muffle furnaces, freeze-drying capabilities, and centrifuges. The Stable Isotope Facility works closely together with other analytical facilities within the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, providing researchers with access to sample preparation equipment allowing sample cutting, heavy liquid mineral separation, and magnetic mineral separation.


Mines students and faculty as well as external users should contact:

Dr. Susann Stolze
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Colorado School of Mines
1516 Illinois Street
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 303-384-2128

USGS scientists and USGS collaborators should contact:

Dr. Craig A. Johnson
Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
West 6th Ave. & Kipling St.
Denver Federal Center Building 95
Lakewood, CO 80225
Phone: 303-236-7935