The school is home to high-tech facilities that include some of the world's best isotope laboratories, and other state-of-the-art laboratories capable of simulating temperature and pressure conditions at hundreds of kilometres deep within our planet; recreating conditions in ancient oceans and atmospheres; enabling us to understand the cycling of carbon in the environment and to investigate the evolution of life on Earth.

  • Backscattered electron image of oscillatory zoned and plagioclase crystal from Toluca volcano, Mexico.


    The school is home to Scanning Electron Microscope and Electron Probe Microanalyser facilities.
  • Synthetic global full-waveform synthetics, calculated on the Bristol BlueCrystal HPC machine.

    High Performance Computing

    The school has access to a range of computers, from desktops and workstations to many-node high performance computing facilities.
  • Scanning electron microscope cathodoluminescence of a zoned zircon from pegmatite (SW Greenland) showing laser ablation analysis craters

    Bristol Isotope Geochemistry

    Facilities include: Neptune, Element, Excimer Laser and Triton mass spectrometers.
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma, viewed through green welder's glasses.

    Aqueous Geochemistry

    Facilities include: two constant temperature rooms, controlled-atmosphere glove box, centrifuges, X-ray diffractometer and many more.
  • Laser heating in a diamond anvil cell

    Experimental Petrology

    Facilities include a range of devices capable of reproducing the variable and extreme conditions of pressure and temperature that exist in Earth's interior from the crust to the core.
  • An analogue experiment investigating fracturing in the shallow crust, showing the stresses generated by a crack visualised using polarised light

    Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

    The school has equipment for detailed sedimentological, petrological and geochemical studies.
  • Ammonite Asteroceras stellares From Lyme Regis, Dorset

    Geology Collection

    The collection houses a unique collection of over 100,000 geological specimens, accessible to scientists, schools and the public (by appointment).
  • Exquisitely preserved 600 Myr fossil embryo.

    Palaeontology Laboratories

    Facilities include equipment to enable the 3D visualisation of computed tomography (CT) data and to perform finite element modelling.
  • Automated chamber for measuring gas emissions from a bog pool in North Wales.


    The biogeochemistry laboratories house a range of mass spectrometry, chromatography and microbiological instrumentation.
  • Shallow seismic refraction tomography over Lamb Leer Cavern, Somerset.

    Geophysical Equipment

    The Bristol Geophysics Group owns and manages a pool of equipment, including gravity, seismic and GPS surveying apparatus.