Shallow Earth Processes Facilities


Hydrogeology research facilities include hardware, software, and technical expertise applied to field sampling and measurements, lab analyses, and computer modeling. We maintain a dedicated field vehicle used for regional hydrogeologic research, supporting a variety of sampling and monitoring studies. Hydrologic equipment and supplies include: flow meters and rain gauges, autonomous and networked conductivity, temperature, pressure, and water content sensors; hydraulic and hand augers and other soil sampling equipment; level tapes and staff plates; infiltrometers, lysimeters, piezometers, and tensiometers; and a borehole geophysical logging system. We have lab space dedicated to sediment analysis, including instruments for geotechnical and hydrologic testing of core samples.

We have outstanding analytical facilities available throughout the Earth & Planetary Sciences and Ocean Sciences departments, the Institute of Marine Sciences (including a staffed wet chemistry lab with an ion chromatograph, fluorometer, flow-injection analyzer, flame AA, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, and other instruments), and the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics. We recently collaborated with researchers and staff in the UCSC Stable Isotope Laboratory to develop a method for analysis of the isotopic composition of nitrate in fresh and salt water samples. We collaborate with colleagues at numerous regional institutions who have specialized capabilities for isotopic, grain size, CNS, and other analyses of sediment, rock, and water samples. The EPS Department at UCSC provides outstanding technical support personnel who work with us on hardware and software design, creation, testing, and use for field and lab experiments.

The HydroScience Computing lab is well equipped with fast workstations (SunOS, Linux, PC, and Mac), portable (field) computers, printers (black and white and color), a large-format plotter, scanners, and other devices and associated software for interfacing with field and lab instruments. We maintain licenses for standard and specialized software for data processing, analysis, and display, and make regular use of public domain and proprietary software for numerical modeling of coupled processes (pre-processing, grid generation, conditional simulation, post-processing, etc.).

More information can be found at Andy Fisher's Hydrogeology web page.

Atmospheric Science

Our group has an array of cloud and aerosol instrumentation that we use in the course of our research. Standard instrumentation includes differential mobility analyzers (regular and high flow), condensation nucleus counters, and aerosol generation equipment. We have equipment for obtaining aerosol filter samples which we run on a number of our analytical instruments, and have a custom-designed cloud condensation nucleus (CCN) column. For drop measurements, we have a custom-designed laboratory phase-Doppler interferometry (PDI) instrument from Artium Technologies for ~0.1 micron resolution drop sizing between 0.5 and 30 microns. We have conducted a number of studies with our CCN column linked to the lab PDI for careful examination of drop growth kinetics at numerous sites around the continental United States. We also co-own (with Dr. Raymond Shaw, Michigan Technological University) an aircraft PDI instrument (also built by Artium Technologies) for cloud drop size distribution and velocity measurements between 3 and 150 micron diameter which has been flown on the NCAR C-130, the CIRPAS Twin Otter aircraft, and on the helicopter-towed ACTOS platform from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research in a number of field experiments worldwide. 


Glacial processes are studied in Greenland, Antarctica, and alpine regions using a variety of instrumentation including: broadband seismometers, differential GPS, borehole tiltmeters, seismometers and pressure sensors, water level sensing, and triggered image capture of calving processes.

Fluvial Geomorphology, Active Tectonics

The Geomorphology Group maintains surveying equipment including a Trimble Ranger Rugged Pocket PC, a Trimble ProXRT GPS Receiver, and a LTI Trupulse 360B Laser Rangefinder. Additionally, we maintain equipment for rock strength, suspended sediment, bed load sediment and river velocity measurements.