Facilities & Technology

Tom Bevill Energy, Mineral, and Materials Science Research Building

micro drill
Micromilling and sampling of shell

The 145,000-square-foot Bevill Building houses the department’s office space, seminar rooms, and research laboratories. Within those labs, the department is well-equipped for modern quantitative geoscience research. Students can learn a wide variety of techniques working alongside faculty on research projects.

Analytical Instruments

  • Gas chromatographs (GC)
  • High-performance liquid chromatographs (HPLC)
  • Ultraviolet and visible spectrophotometer
  • The Analytical Geochemistry Laboratory features:
    • Geochemical Analytical Laboratory
      • Ion chromatograph (IC)
      • Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES)
      • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS)
      • Microwave Digestion System
    • X-ray Analytical Laboratory
      • X-ray diffractometer (XRD)
      • X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF)
  • Hand-held XRF and LIBS
  • Scanning electron microscopes (SEM)
  • Electron microprobe (EMP) with cathodoluminescence detector (CL)
  • Duo-chamber Alpha Spectrometer (PIPS)
  • High-resolution Gamma Spectrometer (HPGe)
  • Liquid Scintillation Counter (LSC)
  • Portable radon monitors (RAD7)
  • Radium Delayed Coincidence Counters (RaDeCC)
  • Malvern laser particle size analyzer
  • The Radiogenic Isotope Lab features the department’s Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS)
  • The department’s Alabama Stable Isotope Lab houses two gas source isotope ratio mass spectrometers with the following peripheral analyzers:
    • Gasbench II
    • Elemental analyzer
    • High-temperature conversion/elemental analyzer

Geophysical Equipment

  • Magnetic gradiometer
  • Ground-penetrating radar
  • StrataVisor seismic acquisition system
  • LaCoste Romberg gravimeter
  • CHIRP subbottom profiler
  • Boomer
  • Single-channel streamer
  • Betsy gun
  • Single and three-component geophones
  • Sparker
  • SuperSting electrical resistivity system (56-electrodes)

Other Equipment

  • Hand controlled micro-drilling system
  • Multiple computer-controlled micro-milling systems
  • Truck-mounted geo probe for terrestrial coring
  • Aquatic vibra-coring probe
  • Seepage meters
  • Rock preparation and mineral separation facilities
  • Petrographic sectioning and polishing facilities

Smith Hall

Located on the University’s central Quad, Smith Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus. It houses not only classrooms and lecture halls for the Department of Geological Sciences but also the Alabama Museum of Natural History and the department’s GeoVis Lab, a tool that allows three-dimensional visualization for the study of geological forms and features.

Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering

Two blocks south of the Bevill Building is the Rodgers Library, which offers more than 220,000 books and bound journals plus access to numerous specialized databases and electronic journals. The library is a popular place to study, with a silent zone on the second floor, plus individual and group study rooms that accommodate up to 12 students and feature wireless access and, in some rooms, whiteboards, and smartboards.

The Scholars’ Station serves as a gathering place for students to learn, create, and discover, as well as a place for teaching faculty and students how to use special databases and other electronic resources. For more information about the library, visit

Computers and Software

grad student working in the isotope lab
Geochemical analysis in the Alabama Stable Isotope Laboratory (ASIL)
  • Eight CPU, UNIX server with 4TB of disk space
  • GeoWall 3-D visualization center
  • Two fully equipped computer labs
  • Geochemists Workbench (geochemical modeling software)
  • PHREEQC (geochemical modeling software)
  • AquaChem (geochemical modeling software)
  • MODFLOW (groundwater flow modeling software)
  • MT3D (groundwater and contaminant transport modeling)
  • ArcInfo GIS software
  • IDL
  • UNIX utilities including GMT, MB-System
  • Landmark graphics software (oil industry standard processing and interpretation software)
  • Abaqus (finite element modeling software)
  • Kingdom Suite (seismic interpretation software)