Marine core processing and sedimentology laboratory

Natural Resources Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
What the facility does

Continuous physical, geotechnical and geochemical characterization of unconsolidated marine sediment cores for sedimentological and environmental studies

Areas of expertise

The marine core processing and sedimentology facility performs non–destructive sedimentological analyses of physical properties of marine sediment cores including X-ray computed tomography, gamma density, P-wave velocity, magnetic susceptibility, color spectrophotometry and X-ray fluorescence for elemental composition. The laboratory also routinely does discrete physical properties of sediment such as shear vane measurements and transverse longitudinal acoustic velocity. Sediment core subsamples can then be analysed for particle size and shape as well as X-ray diffraction for identification of clay minerals. The laboratory has expertise in marine and lacustrine sedimentology.

Research services

Specialized analysis and method development. 

Collaborative projects are treated on a case-by-case basis and selected through a proposal system. Criteria for collaborative projects include that the project is aligned and contributes to advancing laboratory strategic goal and that it is closely aligned with current Geological Survey of Canada program. Collaborative projects are undertaken on a cost-recovery basis.

Sectors of application
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries



Geotek XCT (X-Ray computed tomography)

2D or 3D X-ray reconstruction of sediment cores

Geotek MSCL-S (multi-sensor core logger – standard), whole core

Whole core physical properties (gamma density, P-wave velocity, magnetic susceptibility, non-contact resistivity)

Geotek MSCL-S (multi-sensor core logger – standard), split core

Split core physical properties of sediment (point sensor magnetic susceptibility, color spectrophotometry, photography)

Geotek MSCL-XZ (multi-sensor core logger – benchtop)

X-ray fluorescence core logger with magnetic susceptibility and color spectrophotometry

Beckman Coulter LS 13 320 Particle sizing analyzer

Grain-size from 0.017 µm to 2000 µm

ATS Scientific Camsizer

Digital image processing particle size and shape analysis system for particles 20 µm to 30 mm

Siemens D-500 X-ray diffractometer

X-ray diffractometer for qualitative identification of clay minerals