Sedimentology, Stratigraphy & Micropaleontology

Malvern Mastersizer 2000 Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyser

The laser analyser allows determining the granulometry of the studied sediment sample, i.e., its grain size distribution. It is one of the basic parameters of the sediment which can tell quite a lot about the depositional environment. It is particularly useful in analyzing clay and silt fractions which can be applied to determine bottom currents energy (cf. “sortable silt”).
CHRIST ALPHA 1-4 PLUS Freeze dryer

Freeze-drying of sediment samples allows determining their dry weight, a necessary step for further analyses, e.g., determining the abundance of Foraminifera per 1 g of dry sediment. Freeze-drying is required in the case of samples used for biomarker analyses as compounds such as alkenones and pigments may show significant losses when air-dried.
Nikon SMZ18 stereomicroscope equipped with a Nikon P2-SHR Plan Apo 1× lens and a Zeiss Axiocam 105 colour camera

A stereomicroscope allows us to analyze micropaleontological samples (e.g., foraminiferal fauna). Using the AxioVision microscope software, we can make interactive measurements of microorganisms on their live image as well as take high-quality pictures to be used in publications.
Nikon ECLIPSE E200LED microscope

The microscope is used primarily for dinocyst analyses.
Nikon SMZ1500 stereomicroscopes (2 pieces)

The stereomicroscopes are mainly used for analyses of foraminiferal fauna.
Ecotone EVB-200 LED stereomicroscopes (2 pieces)
These relatively simple stereomicroscopes are used as auxiliary tools, e.g., for the preparation of micropaleontological slides.
Bartington Instruments MS3 meter combined with MS2F sensor

Magnetic Susceptibility (MS) scanning is a powerful tool, which is being applied to constrain stratigraphic correlations within and between different sedimentary basins. It is the easiest way to tell anything about how old a sediment core is before sending samples for radiocarbon dating. You can read more about MS possibilities in the paper published by Magdalena Łącka, Joanna Pawłowska and Marek Zajączkowski here:
RADWAG XA 82/220.4Y Analytical Balance

A high-precision scale allows determining the weight of very small samples such as single foram tests used for radiocarbon dating.
Unisense PH-200-704210 pH electrode

A pH electrode offers a fast and reliable research tool. With a tip size of 200 μm, it can be used to complete high resolution and non-destructive microprofiles in a wide range of microenvironments.

Multiserw Sieves Set (63 micron – 2mm)

Environmental DNA

AFI SIRENA AFI-C060F Refrigerated centrifuge

A refrigerated benchtop centrifuge is a compact instrument ideal for the centrifugation of samples that may be temperature sensitive, such as environmental DNA. Interchangeable rotors and adaptors allow accommodating a wide range of sample volumes.

UVITEC Essential V6 imaging platform

Gel documentation systems are available to record and measure stained agarose and acrylamide gels on a high-tech digital platform. The Essential V6 instrument allows documentation of DNA, RNA and protein gel imaging. It also provides accurate sample quantification.

QIAamplifier 96 thermal cycler

Thermocycler is an instrument used to amplify DNA and RNA samples by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Amplified genetic material can be used in many downstream applications such as cloning, sequencing, expression analysis, and genotyping. The QIAamplifier 96 is a high-performance thermal cycler with a 96-well block and a gradient function, suitable for any end-point PCR application in molecular biology workflows.

QUANTUS Fluorometer

A fluorescence spectrophotometer (or fluorometer) measures the fluorescent light emitted from a sample at different wavelengths, after illumination with a xenon flash lamp. The Quantus Fluorometer is a compact, dual-channel fluorometer designed to provide highly sensitive fluorescent detection when quantifying nucleic acids. It is recommended for high-throughput sequencing and compatible with Illumina (HiSeq/miSeq), Roche (454) and LifeTech (ion Torrent and ion Proton) systems.

Chemical Markers

The following organic compounds are studied in the Laboratory of Marine Chemical Markers:
  • n-alkanes (n-C15÷n-C39),
  • branched alkanes (e.g. pristane, phytane),
  • saturated cyclic hydrocarbons (e.g. hopanes, steranes),
  • polar steroids (e.g. sterols, stanols)
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • alkenones
The analytical equipment used for the determination of these compounds is given below:
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) system equipped with a diode-array detector (DAD) (Knauer, Germany)

This HPLC set consists of:
three pumps (Smartline 100),
degasser (Smartline),
autosampler (Optimas),
column thermostat (Smartline) and DAD detector (DAD-2800).
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) system (Knauer, Germany) equipped with fluorescence (FL) detector (Shimadzu, Japan)

This HPLC set consists of:
three pumps (Smartline 100),
autosampler (Optimas),
column thermostat (Smartline)
and FL detector (RF-20Axs).
Gas chromatography (GC) system coupled to a mass spectrometer (MS)

(GCMS-QP2010 Ultra, Shimadzu, Japan)
Purge-and-trap (P&T) closed-system (Eclipse model 4660) equipped with 4552 Water/Soil Autosampler (O.I.Analytical, USA)

This system is coupled to GCMS-QP2010 Ultra
Gas chromatography (GC) system coupled with a Flame Ionization Detector (FID) (Nexis GC-2030 Shimadzu, Japan)

Hydrogen is supplied to GC-FID using Peak Scientific Hydrogen Gas Generator.
Accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) system (ASE-150, Dionex, USA)

This apparatus is used for the extraction of sediment samples.
UV-Vis Spectrophotometer

(UV 1800, Shimadzu, Japan)
Automatic Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) applicator

(Linomat IV, CAMAG, Switzerland)

Field equipment

R/V Oceania

The Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences is the owner and operator of the sailing research vessel R/V Oceania, the only Polish research vessel adapted for a wide range of oceanographic research activities in physics, chemistry, ecology and marine biology in waters all around the world. She is equipped with modern laboratories, state-of-the-art apparatus, and the means to perform oceanographic measurements down to a depth of 5000 m.

Every year since 1987 R/V Oceania spends some 250 days at sea, including around 80 days in the Nordic Seas (AREX cruises, June – August) and more than a dozen cruises in the Baltic Sea. The Paleoceanography Department actively participates in these expeditions, retrieving sediment cores and other material from the Svalbard region, the Greenland Sea, Norwegian fjords and other areas.
Mini CTD Sensordata SD202

We use the CTD (Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) probe to measure profiles of salinity (calculated from the conductivity, temperature and pressure) and temperature of the water column vs. depth (calculated from the water pressure). It allows us identifying different water masses and define modern environmental conditions in which different faunal groups thrive.
Small gravity corer

It allows us to retrieve sediment cores with a diameter of 4.5 cm and up to 30 cm long. We use them for studies of both the modern environment and the geological past. Its main advantage is the ease of use.
Large gravity corer

Using the large gravity corer, we can retrieve cores up to 4 m long and with a diameter of 9 cm. We use them for paleoceanographic reconstructions of the Late Quaternary.
2500 cm² KC Denmark box corer

The box corer samples an area of 2500 cm² (50 x 50 cm) with a maximum penetration depth of 50 cm. It is designed for a minimum of disturbance of the sediment surface which is important for quantitative investigations of the benthos micro- to macrofauna, geochemical processes, sampling of bottom water or sedimentology. Despite limited penetration depth, the box corer yields a large volume of sediment material, necessary for some analyses.
Van Veen Grab is another easy-to-use tool to retrieve sediment samples. Its disadvantage is that it disturbs the sample.
Mini SD 6000 Sensordata current meter and a Seapoint turbidity meter emitting light at 880 nm at scatterance angles of 15-150°
Sediment traps (double cylindrical, 72 mm diameter, 0.46 m long) for the sedimentation rate determination.