Carbonate Petrology and Characterization Laboratory

  • High-temperature laboratory experiments provide insights into dolomite kinetics.

  • A graduate student performs high-precision measurements

    High-precision measurements of mass are required to control experimental variables.

  • A graduate student performs X-ray diffraction

    X-ray diffraction analysis allows detailed characterization of the mineralogy of crystalline samples.

  • High-resolution imaging and elemental mapping is accomplished using SEM-EDS.

  • X-ray fluorescence provides rapid elemental analysis of geological materials.

The Carbonate Petrology and Characterization Laboratory is part of the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Western Michigan University. The CPCL is a collaborative research facility directed by Dr. Stephen Kaczmarek. The CPCL is equipped with various laboratory and analytical instruments for investigating the origin and evolution of carbonate rocks.

Two principle avenues of research are supported by the laboratory facility:

  1. Petrological characterization of carbonates
  2. Experimental petrology with a focus on carbonate diagenesis

Recent Projects

  • Application of a handheld XRF spectrometer to enhance sedimentary and paleoenvironmental research in the Michigan Basin, National Science Foundation, 2016-18
  • Unraveling the early diagenetic history of Eocene Limestones and Dolostones, Qatar: ExxonMobil Research Qatar, 2017
  • Origin and evolution of microporosity in limestone reservoirs: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, 2009-15
  • Genetic origin of lacustrine carbonates in the Santos Basin, Brazil: ExxonMobil Exploration Company, 2013-14
  • Development and evolution of stoichiometry and cation ordering in dolomite

    For a complete list of projects, please visit my Research Gate page.

Petrological Characterization

  • Second Generation Bruker D2 Phaser X-ray Diffractometer
    • Mineralogical characterization of carbonate rock and mineral samples
  • Bruker Elemental Tracer IV-SD System portable XRF Analyzer
    • Elemental characterization of rock and mineral samples
  • JEOL-JSM-IT100LA Scanning Electron Microscope w/EDS
    • SEM: high resolution surface imaging (electron microscopy)
    • EDS: elemental detection & spatial mapping (analytical geochemistry)
  • Zeiss AxioPlan 2 Petrographic Microscope with digital camera
    • Thin-section characterization of sedimentary rocks
  • High-resolution digital scanner
    • Rock core and thin section imaging

Experimental Petrology

  • Teflon-lined, acid-digestion (23 ml capacity) autoclaves (Parr Instruments)
  • Herathem (Thermo Scientific) High-precision laboratory ovens
  • High-precision electronic laboratory balances
    • Metler-Toledo XSE104
    • Metler-Toledo ME4001E
    • Denver Instruments M-220
  • Eppendorf 5417C centrifuge

Analytical Services

  • XRD Analysis: Carbonate mineral identification and quantification $22 (on campus), $32 (off campus)
  • XRF Analysis: Bulk elemental characterization $10 (on campus), $13 (off campus)
  • SEM-EDS Analysis: High-resolution imaging and elemental characterization $30/hour (on campus), $40/hour (off campus), *daily rates available
  • Thin Section Analysis: Description and pore type characterization $35 (on campus), $45 (off campus)

Additional Resources