Northeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 18-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


CORBETT, Lee B. and BIERMAN, Paul R., Department of Geology, University of Vermont, Delehanty Hall, 180 Colchester Ave, Burlington, VT 05405

Cosmogenic nuclides (such as Be-10 and Al-26) provide a quantitative means for investigating Earth surface history and processes. Measuring one or more cosmogenic nuclides in rock or sediment can yield insight into erosion rates, glacial history, fluvial processes, tectonic rates, sediment transport, and landscape evolution. However, sample processing is difficult, hazardous and requires specialized facilities; hence, many geoscientists do not have ready access to this technique, the application of which is expanding rapidly. In order to broaden access for geochronological research and research training, the US National Science Foundation has funded technical support at seven geochronology facilities around the country, including the cosmogenic sample preparation facility at the University of Vermont.

The University of Vermont laboratory is dedicated to training visiting students, staff, faculty, and professionals from a wide variety of institutions in cosmogenic nuclide extraction techniques. Because of National Science Foundation support, all teaching and mentoring is free of cost for visitors; users pay only for laboratory consumables and accelerator mass spectrometry analyses. Visitors can learn and perform all phases of sample preparation, interact with other visitors from around the world, and work in a community environment. In the first year of community facility support, we hosted 23 visitors to process their own samples, an additional 13 visitors to observe and learn, four of our own students, three group tours, and an open house during the 2018 NEGSA meeting. Visitors to the laboratory have included undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, and USGS researchers, some of whom will be presenting cosmogenic nuclide-based dates and rates at this meeting.

If you are interested in using cosmogenic nuclides in your research, or in visiting the laboratory to learn more about the techniques, applications, and cleanroom chemistry, please contact us. We can arrange for group tours, especially for undergraduate or graduate classes. You can find extensive information about us at You can also see our visitors in action on Facebook (NSF UVM Community Cosmogenic Facility) and Instagram (uvmcosmolab).