We specialize in isotope analyses for researchers in the fields of geology, economic geology, geochronology, archaeology, anthropology, and hydrology, and for environmental, metabolic, and food adulteration studies. Geochron Laboratories has been providing high quality isotopic analyses to geological and archaeological communities for more than thirty years. Established in 1960 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Geochron was the first laboratory to provide both potassium-argon age determinations and stable isotope ratio analyses on a commercial basis. Our analytical services also include radiocarbon age determinations as well as other radiometric analyses and we remain a world leader in these and all our services.
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Geochron Laboratories has been providing high quality isotopic analyses to geological and archaeological communities for more than thirty years. Established in 1960 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Geochron was the first laboratory to provide both potassium-argon age determinations and stable isotope ratio analyses on a commercial basis. Our analytical services also include radiocarbon age determinations as well as other radiometric analyses and we remain a world leader in these and all our services.
Geochron's facilities are housed in a single building with an area of 11,000 square feet and include:
- Radiocarbon laboratory with preparation equipment for the conversion of carbon in various types of samples to an appropriate counting medium, and both gas proportional counters and a Quantulus liquid scintillation counter for precise 14C activity measurement. We also can arrange for 14C analysis by accelerator mass spectrometry.
- Stable isotope laboratory with various preparation lines and two VG Micromass gas source stable isotope ratio mass spectrometers for analyzing nitrogen, sulfur, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen isotopes on a variety of materials.
- Tritium laboratory with distillation equipment and a Quantulus liquid scintillation counter for determining tritium activity in water samples by direct counting.
A staff directory and list of analytical services are provided on this site. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss in more detail the nature of your research and samples. We will help you decide which analyses are most appropriate for your research and advise you on sample selection, sample size, and shipping guidelines.
Packaging and Shipping Samples
Each individually wrapped sample should be clearly labeled and packed in a sturdy container. Each shipment should contain a packing list including the name and address of the shipper.
Large rock and mineral samples can be sent in heavy plastic or fabric bags. Smaller samples and mineral separates should be sent in plastic bags, or plastic vials with secured tops. Samples sent in glass vials should be individually wrapped in several layers of packing material.
Samples sent for radiocarbon age determinations should be protected from sources of extraneous carbon. Charcoal and wood samples should be wrapped in aluminum foil or heavy plastic and should not be wrapped in paper.
Liquid samples should be sent in strong plastic vials or bottles with secured tops. Aqueous samples which may freeze during shipment should be allowed a 10% air space for expansion. Glass containers should not be used for any sample which may freeze. Certain types of food and biomedical samples which must be shipped frozen should be packed in dry ice in Styrofoam containers, and sent by overnight courier.
Prepared gas samples for stable isotope analysis are best sent in small break-seal vials. Larger gas samples for 14C or stable isotope analysis should be sent in gas bags or gas sample cylinders.
Within the continental U.S. and Canada, we recommend shipping by airmail, priority mail, or courier. For samples requiring immediate attention, shipment should be made by an overnight/express courier service. Foreign shipments should be sent by airmail or international air courier. All samples which must pass through U.S. Customs should be clearly labeled 'SCIENTIFIC SAMPLES - NO COMMERCIAL VALUE'. Do not claim a total value of more than US$10.