Regional Geochemical Centre

Regional Analytical Facility

The Regional Analytical Facility (previously known as the Regional Geochemical Centre) is located on St. Mary's University campus in Halifax, Nova Scotia as part of the Department of Geology. It is dedicated to the rapid and accurate analysis and reporting of results from environmental sampling. Our laboratory is fully equipped to process geologic samples and return the results in typically a few weeks or less.

The principal focus of the RAF is to utilize non-destructive analytical x-ray fluorescence (XRF) to determine elemental concentrations in environmental samples. Geologic samples are analyzed by crushing whole rocks into fine particles less than one-tenth of one millimeter in diameter. These powders then can either be pressed into flat pellets at high pressure or melted with a fluxing agent to form a glass-like disk prior to analysis. It is also possible to measure loose powder or even liquid samples directly. We can typically analyze most elements down to the low parts per million levels using this technique.


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