Sedimentology Laboratory

Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Physical property, geotechnical and geochemical characterization of unconsolidated sediments

Areas of expertise

This sedimentology laboratory provides analysis of unconsolidated sediments including Atterberg limits, complete grain size (sieving or particle size analyzer), calcite-dolomite, pore-water extraction, clay separation/fractionation and carbon content to name a few. Through implementation of special sieving protocols, possible contamination during sample preparation for geochemical analysis is reduced. The laboratory allows the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) to explore non-standard processing techniques and to customize analysis for given GSC projects.

Research services

Specialized analysis and method development.

Collaborative projects are treated on a case-by-case basis and selected through a proposal system. Projects must be aligned with, and contribute to, advancing laboratory strategic goals. They must also be closely aligned with the 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



Beckman Coulter LS 13 320 Particle Sizing Analyzer

Laser diffraction particle analysis from <0.017 µm to 2 mm

Retsch CAMSIZER (particle analyzer)

Dynamic digital image processing for determining grain size and shape of dry free flowing particles 0.030 to 30 mm

LECO CR-412 (carbon analyzer)

Determination of total carbon content by infrared spectrometry. Sediment combusted at 1350 degrees Celsius.

CM5014 CO2 Coulometer

The calcite fraction of carbonate minerals determined by coulometric titration

AccuPyc 1330 10cm3 Gas Pycnometer

Density and specific gravity

Heraeus™ Biofuge™ Stratos™ Centrifuge

Refrigerated centrifuge used in pore water extractions