The School of Geography, Environment and Earth Science has a broad range of laboratory, computing and field equipment available for students to use.

Laboratory Equipment

The School has the following items of laboratory equipment:

  • Fluid Interaction Apparatus
  • Portable Seismograph
  • Various Specialised Microscope
  • Infrared Thermal Radiometer
  • Gamma Spectrometer
  • Wavelength Dispersive Analysis System Nu Plasma MC-ICP-MS
  • X-123 Complete spectrometer
  • Sedigraph III 5120
  • Proton Walking Magnetometer
  • Disk Mill Pulverisette Set Multi-wavelength particle size analyser with ALM system
  • Auto Precision Lapping and Polishing machine
  • SuperProbe Electron Probe Microanalyser (EPMA)


  • Olympus Research Petrographic Microscope - uses transmitted and reflected light
  • Olympus Dp70 Camera and Digital Imaging System - this portable system can be easily moved to any of the Olympus microscopes in the suite
  • Research Stereozoom Microscope - used for examining both large microscope slides and large features in microscope slides
  • Olympus Research Transmitted Light Petrographic Microscope - mounted with Linkham heating-freezing stage for studying fluid inclusions
  • Two Leitz Research Microscopes - one of these instruments is used for point counting
  • Leitz Student Petrographic Microscope - the universal stage mount on this microscope can be used to investigate grain orientations and deformation features.

Computing Equipment

UNIX Servers and data processing

Numerous multiprocessor Linux servers in the School are used to run geophysics and meteorology applications. An additional multiprocessor system (with 32 cpu cores) is being added for CPU-intensive work.

We access Grid Computing resources externally to support the in-house computing facilities.

Data storage

A storage array is provided by Digital Solutions at Victoria University of Wellington, of which we currently have 30TB allocated.

Field Equipment

The School has the following field equipment available:

  • Trimble GeoXT, GeoXH and Pro XR Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) equipment Trimble R8 Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS surveyequipment
  • Trimble S6 Fully Automatic Total-Station theodolite, including capability for reflector-less surveys (eg: cliff walls)
  • Two Sokkia Total-Station, Electronic Distance-Measuring (EDM) theodolites, also with relectorless capability, with MALA Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) system
  • Ceeducer DGPS integrated depth sounding equipment
  • Dobie wave and tide gauge
  • Petrol-powered Rock Drills for collecting oriented cores for structural or paleomagnetic studies
  • 4x4 pick-up truck (2006 Mitsubishi Triton) and other fleet vehicles.

We also have a wide range of augering and sediment coring devices for field sampling of Quaternary materials for neotectonic studies:

  • Hydraulically driven percussion corer
  • Vibrocorer
  • Hand corers (Auger and D-ring)
  • Livingstone corer (available in collaboration with GNS Science).

Hydrology equipment for point sampling and long term monitoring including:

  • Seba current meters
  • A wide range of Campbell sensors and dataloggers
  • Climate stations
  • Infiltrometers
  • Permeameter
  • Water level pressure transducers
  • Field Stations in Northwest Nelson and Kaikoura coast regions
  • Geophysical Survey Equipment for use in gravity, magnetic, seismic reflection and refraction, passive seismic/tomographic, microearthquake and magnetotelluric studies.