Department Logo for Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences

Research in the Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences is frequently observationally driven; discoveries follow from the ability to observe our world in new ways. Our laboratories are equipped with a suite of state-of-the-art instruments that permit us to undertake a wide variety of experimental investigations. Facilities include:

  • The UCLA Meteorite Collection, which is the largest on the West Coast and contains over 2400 samples from about 1400 different meteorites. It is the fifth largest collection of meteorites in the United States and the second largest housed at a university.
  • The W.M. Keck Foundation Center for Isotope Geochemistry which houses the CAMECA ims 1270, the nation’s first high-resolution/high-sensitivity ion microprobe, as well as two VG sector thermal ionization mass spectrometers
  • A high-resolution Finnigan Neptune multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer commissioned in 2003; the Neptune is capable of both high precision radiogenic or stable isotope analyses with sampling either by in situ laser ablation or chemical separation
  • Clean room and mineral separation facilities to support the isotope geochemistry laboratories
  • A new laboratory equipped with two Finnigan gas-source mass spectrometers for small sample stable-isotope analyses by ultra-violet laser ablation or infrared laser heating
  • A noble gas laboratory with two VG mass spectrometers equipped with both laser and resistance heating gas extraction for thermochronological investigations using Ar-Ar and U-He methods
  • Experimental petrology laboratories with high-temperature furnaces and low-, moderate-, and high-pressure piston-cylinder devices
  • A mineral physics laboratory equipped with a diamond cell apparatus that has capabilities for ruby fluorescence, Raman spectroscopy, and double-sided laser heating and imaging spectroradiometry
  • A JEOL SuperProbe electron microprobe analyzer with five spectrometers
  • A LEO 1430VP variable pressure scanning electron microscope with an energy-dispersive x-ray analyzer and cathodoluminescence detector
  • A gamma-ray spectrometry laboratory for neutron-activation analyses
  • A new experimental geophysical fluid-dynamics laboratory with a one-meter diameter rotary table, a large-volume solenoid, and state-of-the-art velocimetry systems
  • A portable array of broadband seismometers
  • The campus seismic network part of the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, an inter-disciplinary NSF Science and Technology Center developing sensor networks technology

We also have off-road field vehicles, a museum and teaching collection, thin-section and rock-crushing labs, electronics and prototyping shops. A GIS database and map server, and a computerizedVisualization Portal are also located nearby on campus.


Location: Geology 4697
Phone: (310) 825-1055

The UCLA Library is one of the top-ranked research libraries in the United States. It is greatly enhanced by the California Digital Library (CDL), which supports on-line the shared collections of the University of California and others, including the Melvyl Union Catalog, the California Periodicals database, CDL-hosted databases, archival collections held by UC and other California universities and museums, electronic journals, and other scholarly resources.

The Geology/Geophysics Collection located in the Geology Building is part of the Science & Engineering Library (SEL), which also includes Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering/Mathematical Sciences collections located nearby. The Geology/Geophysics Collection is one of the largest repositories of geoscience literature in the country. It is strong in geology, geochemistry, geophysics, space physics, planetary science, and regional geology. Field-trip guidebooks, open-file reports, and databases are collected in addition to books and journals.

The adjoining William C. Putnam Map Collection holds 90,000 topographic and geologic maps, and is a depository library for USGS geologic map series and topographic maps for California, Nevada, and Arizona.