Teach the Earth > Petrology > Analytical Geochemical Instrument Registry > Browse Geochemical Instruments > ICP-Mass Spectrometry Lab

Dept. of Geosciences ICP-Mass Spectrometry Lab

The University of Texas at Austin

Contact Information

John Lansdown

(512) 471-4810




Instrument Type

WHOLE ROCK ANALYSIS - ICP Inductively-coupled plasma spectrometer +/- mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) and laser source

Micromass Platform ICP-MS & New Wave LUV 213 Laser Ablation system


Whole-rock analysis (major and trace element)
Age determination U-Pb

Typical Use:

Laser ablation spot and line analysis to determine trace and major elemental composition, REE patterning, U-Pb age dating of detrital zircons, NIST glass standardization

Conditions for Use:

Submitted samples will be analyzed on a contract basis (i.e. lab personnel will do the work).
Visitors are invited to work in the lab to work with lab personnel.

User Fees:

ICP-MS time is billed on an hourly basis. The University approved cost is $60.00/hour. The number of analysis per hour is dependent on the type of analysis and substrate.

Instrument Priorities:

The instrument is run on a first come/first served basis. Priority is given to people facing deadlines or trying to get some quick analysis results before remote fieldwork.

Remote Use:


Sample Preparation:

Laser Ablation samples are typically standard thin sections or thick sections mounted on a standard size piece of glass. Zircons are mounted in epoxy in ~1 in. "pucks", or within sections of 1/4 in. pvc pipe. There are separate mounts that will accommodate 1 in. diameter cores

Standard Collections/Lab Blanks:

NIST glasses are used as calibration standards. Secondary standards such as BCR-2g are used to verify the calibration. Typically, major elements such as Ca or Si are measured using an electron microprobe and the ratio of signal for a given trace element to Ca or Si is used to calculate the elemental concentration.


Depending on the elements to be measured, the data processing is performed within the instrumental software typically used for solution analysis or the raw counts are exported to an Excel spreadsheet for outlier rejection, linear regression, and calculation of elemental concentrations.

Educational Use:

Undergraduate student research projects are invited.
Graduate student research projects are invited.

Support provided by:

The Geology Foundation, Jackson School of Geosciences,
The University of Texas at Austin

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