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Rock and Sample Preparation Laboratories

Buildings 4 and 15. Contact: Nicole Thomas, Geologist (650)329-5452 (office), (650)329-5522 (lab)

Rock Processing Laboratory

Building 4, Room 4108 (A, B, C)

CalVO’s Rock Processing Laboratory provides the equipment for sawing, grinding, pulverizing, washing, drying, and sieving rock samples. The lab offers 2 rooms that are available for individual use.

Lab sample processing rooms are stocked with hammer and steel plate, jaw crusher, mini disk mill, shatterbox and sieve shaker, as well as sample storage containers, and balances. The main room has a sink, ultrasonicator, drying oven, LED magnifier, and 10” trim saw, as well as a Dremel with a wide assortment of bits, and a full set of sieves for size fraction analyses.

The large variety of samples that are processed in this lab, requires a selection of cutting and grinding materials of varying hardness are available for sample processing. The shatterbox, mini-disk mill and jaw crusher all have interchangeable plates of ceramic, hardened steel, and tungsten; the trace element concentrations of all plate materials are available to all users.

General Geochemistry Lab (Rock/Mineral Separates)

Building 15

CalVO’s General Geochemistry or “Rock/Mineral Separates” Laboratory provides the equipment for separating minerals from a pulverized rock sample via magnetic separation, heavy liquids separation and wet chemistry (acid dissolution).

The lab is home to multiple microscopes, as well as Moticam microscope camera software and LED magnifiers for sample imaging; ultrasonicators and drying ovens for sample washing and drying; as well as sanding and polishing equipment for sample mounting and preparation.  

The equipment is provided to lab users in a clean/dust-free environment, with temporary sample storage and chemicals and requisite personal protective equipment provided by the laboratory.

Machine Shop

Building 4

The machine shop is a shared facility for machining and repair of equipment. It includes lath, drill press, vertical mill, band saw, and standard hand tools, chemicals, and lab accessories.