The Department is well-endowed with the latest analytical equipment and powerful computing facilities, supporting fundamental research in all aspects of the Earth Sciences, including:
- Facilities for the preparation of thin and polished rock sections, rock crushing and grinding.
- A well-equipped machine shop in which a great deal of research apparatus is constructed and maintained.
- Computer laboratory containing many powerful networked UNIX-based SUN and PC workstations with facilities for colour graphics and map-size plotting.
- A wide range of optical equipment is available, including polarising microscopes together with universal stages, incident light illuminators, and apparatus for the quantitative measurement of spectral reflectivity and microhardness of opaque minerals, for the observation of cathodoluminescence and for fluid-inclusion geothermometry.
- Excellent reference collections of rocks, minerals, and fossils.
- State of the art analytic facilities, including thermal ionisation and stable isotope mass spectrometers for geochemistry and radiometric dating.
- A large high-resolution ion probe (ISOLAB) and a smaller MicroSIMS ion probe, as well as electron microscopes and electron probes for mineral analysis (JEOL JXA 8800 and JSM 840A).
- A fully equipped Diamond Cell laboratory for ultra high-pressure research with Raman spectroscopic synchrotron X-ray diffraction, and laser heating techniques.
The Palaeomagnetism Laboratory has standard equipment plus a cryogenic magnetometer, facilities for palaeointensity study and specialised rock magnetic equipment and a field-free room.
The Oxford archive of digital seismograms from global stations is one of the largest in the world and growing rapidly as recent data are added. The data are fully indexed making it quick and convenient to retrieve data satisfying the requirements of a given research problem; this makes it an unrivalled resource for global seismological research.
The University Museum, adjacent to the Department, houses very valuable reference collections of rocks, minerals and fossils, in addition to the ordinary working collections.
The Departmental Library and Radcliffe Science Library provide further excellent research resources.