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The Laboratory

This page provides an overview of our analytical infrastructure and capabilities. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have a specific question or analytical problem - we are happy to help wherever we can!

We try to keep this page up to date, so check back occasionally for recent developments.

Analytical Instruments

ICP OES Agilent 720

Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer, axial plasma observation. We use this machine for high sensitivity, high precision elemental quantification in critical applications. Examples are the determination of element/Ca ratios in dissolved corals or foraminifera and trace element analysis of environmental samples.

ICP OES Varian Vista PRO

Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer, radial plasma observation. This is our workhorse for elemental analysis of liquid samples, especially with high solute contents.

IC Metrohm CompactIC

Ion chromatograph with conductivity detection and chemical suppression. Our standard application for the determination of major anions in liquid samples, such as sulfate, nitrate, and halogenides.

Ocean Optics LWCC Spectrometer

Liquid Waveguide Capillary Spectrometer. With a capillary light path of 100cm, this photometer allows for nanomolar analysis of phosphate and iron - and other dissolved species that can be stained with compound-specific reagents

analytikJena multiN/C 2100s

Carbon analyzer for DIC, DOC, NPOC, TC... The direct injection techniqe allows for a robust determination in rather small sample volumes (<1mL).

Bruker Vertex FT-IR Spectrometer

This instrument requires only small amounts of sample material (11mg) and facilitates a rapid and cost efficient simultaneous analysis of several biogeochemical sediment properties (e.g. BSi, TOC, TIC, TN).

Photometer Hach DR series

UV/Vis spectral photometer. Photometric methods provide robust analyses of a variety of compounds, such as ferrous iron, sulfide, or phosphate. We use the DR5000 (left) for large batches of samples in the lab, and the mobile DR2800 (right) for shipboard analyses and fieldwork.
Quantachrome BET Analyser

Quantachrome Quantasorb Jr.

Brunnauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) machine for the determination of specific surface areas via nitrogen adsorption. Though it has a distinct pre-cold war appeal and features an actual hairdryer as a key component, this machine is impeccable in quantifying mineral surfaces.

FIA NH4 Analyser

Flow injection

These DIY setups after Hall and Aller 1992 allow the accurate determination of dissolved ammonium and dissolved inorganic carbon by a sequence of flow injection, gas separation and conductivity detection.


Picarro L-2130i

Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer. Using the isotope-specific absorption characteristic of a laser pulse that circulates in an evacuated chamber, this device is able to quantify the stable isotope signatures of deuterium (δD) and oxygen (δ18O) in ultra-small water samples.

Panalytical epsilon 3XL XRF

XRF PANalytical
epsilon 3XL

Energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Used for determining the bulk elemental composition of dry solid samples, typically marine and freshwater sediments, rocks, and soils.


Other devices

Electrodes and sensors

We are comprehensively equipped with pH, redox and ion-sensitive electrodes, as well as oxygen and conductivity sensors.
Gerhardt Laboshake


Our samples, e.g. in solid-liquid-extractions, go merrily round in this rotary shaker.

Labconco RapidVap N2

Evaporator for concentration and sample volume reduction via blow-down and vibration.

Ismatec IPC pumps

Indispensable peristaltic pumps for fluid handling in analytical and preparative applications. Multi-channel, multi-rate, multi-purpose.

ELGA Purelab Deionizer

Fresh 18.2MΩ water.

Osmotic pump samplers

A more recent application and development in our lab, these autonomous pumps can be deployed for submarine water sampling over prolonged time. Contact Matthias for details.

Sartorius CUBIS Balance

Analytical balance. Five digits, Q-stat decharging, automatic doors. Come on, automatic doors!
Oven Nabatherm

LE 4/11

Oven. Up to 1100°C.


Core Applications

Pore water sampling and onboard methods

We have specialized on pore water sampling with rhizons and onboard analysis of small volume samples on both MARUM expeditions and IODP mission specific platform operations. More information on the onboard procedures related to pore water sampling can be found on the website of the ECORD Science Operator. There is also comprehensive information on our old lab websites (classic html from the primeval www!).

Geochemical Modelling

We routinely use geochemical modelling toolboxes (PHREEQC, EXPLICIT, PROFILE) and individual models to evaluate our data with respect to geochemical equilibria, fluxes, reactions, isotope fractionations... Martin has also developed a worksheet-based reef growth model.


Analytical services

Here, we will provide a list of routine analytical services that we offer for internal and external cooperation partners. Check back for updates.