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Earth Systems Science Division

Unique Facilities

Aquatic Research LaboratoryAquatic Research Laboratory (331)

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This laboratory is managed by the Ecology Group and supports research on fish passage and survival at hydroelectric dams, development of biological criteria for the design of fish-friendly turbines, understanding how Hanford Site operations affect the Columbia River ecosystem, and protecting and recovering endangered species such as salmon. Recently remodeled, the 7,400 square foot laboratory uses Columbia River water (either flow-through or recirculating to save water and energy) to raise a multitude of fish species (salmonids, sturgeon, lamprey and eels, etc.) in sufficient numbers (100's to 1,000's) to support specific research and training objectives.

The new lab features a fish surgery center, equipment to analyze chemicals found in water and fish, hydraulic test facilities to examine pressure, shear, and turbulence effects on fish, and access to state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and engineering support that make it a one-of-a-kind facility within the DOE complex.

For more information, contact David Geist.

Bio-Acoustics & Flow LaboratoryBio-Acoustics & Flow Laboratory (LSL-2)

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This laboratory is managed by the Hydrology Group and is a multi-disciplinary research and development laboratory, addressing a broad range of engineering and ecological issues, with an emphasis on environmental monitoring and risk assessment for conventional hydropower, wind, marine, and hydrokinetic renewable energy systems.

For more information, visit the Bio-Acoustics & Flow Laboratory website or contact Mike Fayer.

Environmental Biology LaboratoriesEnvironmental Biology Laboratories (BSF & RTL)

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These laboratories are managed by Environmental Assessment Group which is focused on assessing the impacts of human materials or activities on human health, natural systems, and resources. The five primary research areas supported by these laboratories include ecosystem Health Assessments, Homeland Security, Biotechnology, Computer Modeling & Data Management/Interpretation, and specialized laboratory procedures.

For more information, contact Brian Optiz.

Environmental Sciences LaboratoryEnvironmental Sciences Laboratory (331)

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These laboratories are managed by the Geosciences group and consist of multiple wet chemistry laboratories, including some, which are radiologically-controlled. The laboratories contain several pieces of radiologically capable analytical instrumentation, controlled-atmosphere chambers, and a pressurized unsaturated flow (PUF) apparatus and unsaturated flow apparatus (UFA).

These laboratories serve as a foundation for PNNL's core capabilities in Subsurface Science and Applied Nuclear Science and Technology, and have been used to safely and successfully analyze the most radioactively contaminated sediment and tank waste samples collected on the Hanford Site. Recent infrastructure (Class 10,000/100 clean room – highlighted below) and instrumentation (MC-ICP-MS and MC-TIMS) acquisitions serve as the foundation of the ESSD's emerging environmental isotope capability.

For more information, contact Chris Brown.

Clean Room LaboratoryClean Room Laboratory (331)

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The Clean Room Laboratory, an extension of the Environmental Sciences Laboratory, is used for the ultraclean preparation of samples for isotopic and chemical analysis. Because the samples to be analyzed in the Ultra Trace Analytical Laboratory may be less than a picogram in mass, their preparation (i.e., concentration and purification) must be done under ultraclean conditions to avoid contamination by those elements in the environment. This lab has an outer part, with purified air and restricted access, and an inner part (305A), with highly purified air and positive pressure. It is substantially metal-free, and contains Class 10 and 100 hoods for sample handling.

For more information, contact Chris Brown.

Environmental Systems LaboratoriesEnvironmental Systems Laboratories (LSL-2 & RTL)

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These laboratories are managed by the Environmental Systems Group and consist of multiple physical, wet-chemistry, and microbiology laboratories. The laboratories contain unique analytical instruments, apparatus, and detectors to characterize subsurface geochemical/microbial processes, evaluate the behavior of injected CO2 in the subsurface, assess geothermal, natural gas, and renewable energy systems, and develop deep-vadose and saturated-zone remediation technologies.

For more information, contact Terry Liikala .

Carbon Sequestration LaboratoriesCarbon Sequestration Laboratories (331 and LSL-2)

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These laboratories are managed by the Geosciences group and contain experimental equipment and state-of-the-art analytical equipment to study reactions at elevated temperature and pressure, primarily Supercritical CO2, wet CO2, reservoir rock, aquifer sediments, and wellbore casing and cements.

For more information, contact Chris Brown.

Environmental Sampler Development and Prototype Testing LaboratoryEnvironmental Sampler Development and Prototype Testing Laboratory (LSL-2)

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This laboratory is jointly managed by the Environmental Assessment, Environmental Systems, and Hydrology Groups. It contains tools and equipment to design, build, and demonstrate samplers for collecting environmental air and water samples directly from above- and below-ground sources and from mobile platforms (two GPS-guided ATVs available for rapid deployment). The samplers are designed to be efficient and cost-effective at collecting and preprocessing samples for trace-gas concentration and volume reduction.

Lab-designed automatic systems respond to environmental variables to achieve targeted sampling during optimum environmental conditions and to collect multiple samples at varying scales from tenths of a mil to 10 cubic meters. Mobile systems can be setup to sample based on environment or GPS location.

The lab maintains a suite of common commercially-available air and particulate samplers, nephelometers, custom-built samplers (six largest units are 1000-CFM electric- or gas-powered particulate samplers) and a full range of micro-meteorological support sensors and equipment including several 10-meter towers and five trailer-mounted crank-up 45-foot towers. The lab also maintains three Geoprobe® direct-push drill rigs (2 on loan to CTBTO in Austria), one backhoe-mounted AMS direct-push drill rig.

For more information, contact Mike Fayer.

Ecohydrology LaboratoryEcohydrology Laboratory (LSL-2)

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This laboratory is jointly managed by the Ecology and Hydrology Groups. It contains the tools and instruments needed to process, analyze and characterize environmental and biological samples, including physical and hydraulic testing of soil samples, measuring plant leaf area, biomass and water content, and building and testing geophysical tools for subsurface characterization.

In addition to facilities for processing and storing processing biota samples, two small, controlled environment chambers are available for testing growth or germination under experimental conditions. The lab is also used as a staging ground to prepare for field deployment activities. Such preparations include building and testing sensors, assembling supplies, calibrating equipment and sensors, and programming dataloggers.

For more information, contact Mike Fayer.

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