Earth Institute Research Projects

The Ultraclean Geochemistry Laboratory at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Lead PI: Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam

Unit Affiliation: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

February 2010 - December 2011
North America ; New York City, NY ; New York
Project Type: Facilities & Operations

DESCRIPTION: The planned Ultraclean Geochemistry Laboratory expansion and improvement at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University will double the capacity of existing highly specialized laboratory space devoted to the study of global climate processes.

Studying global climate processes, such as dust in the climate system, deep ocean currents, and other ocean circulation processes, requires that environmental samples be handled in extremely clean laboratories in order to minimize the risk of contamination, high quality air handling to exhaust the chemical solvents, and the ability to precisely control temperature and humidity. The design of the new laboratory space promises to achieve particle counts of fewer than 10 parts per billion and meet all the other requirements, all very energetically expensive, efficiently enough to save the university $60,000 per year in energy costs.

The construction of this facility will directly support the mission of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its efforts to monitor climate.

This project is scheduled for completion by spring 2011.