Stable Isotope Laboratory
The Stable Isotope Lab at Mount Holyoke was built by Dr. Steven R. Dunn with funds from the National Science Foundation DUE0126661. The lab includes a vacuum line for extracting carbon dioxide from carbonate rocks and minerals and from combusted graphite and organic matter. Gas samples are analyzed on a Finnegan MAT Delta E Mass Spectrometer in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts. The ratio of the stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen are used as geochemical tracers in the study of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and help scientists better understand a variety of geological processes.