Activities of the geomaterial workshop

The main objective of this workshop is the preparation of rock samples for their characterization and their analysis (chemical, isotopic, NanoSims ...). It is an integral part of the OSUR's joint analytical center. Recently restructured in order to be able to shine more broadly on the various research themes, it is today made up of three different activity centers.

  • a thin blades pole
  • a grinding pole
  • a separation of minerals division

Thin blades

Many of the research topics in Geosciences initially require the petrographic study of the studied materials. The determination of the minerals, the structural and chemical characterization of the mineral phases expressed (microprobe ...) are necessary in most of the studies carried out within the UMR. This is why a performant workshop that is able to produce a large amount of thin sections and polished sections of high quality is an absolutely fundamental and indispensable tool for the proper functioning of a research unit in Earth Sciences.

The expertise covers:

  • Covered Tthin sections for petrographic studies
  • Polished thin sections for chemical analysis using a microprobe
  • Thick slides for study of fluid inclusions
  • Samples for NanoSims
  • Samples for the study of fission traces
  • Samples for malacological studies

The manufacturing operation of the thin-section is provided by Mr Xavier LE COZ, technician in charge of the service.
The workshop is equipped with:

  • segmented diamond saw
  • continuous rim diamond saw
  • core drill
  • cast iron lapidaries
  • automatic grinding machine
  • automatic grinder
  • buehler microsaw
  • automatic microsaw accutom
  • DPU polisher
  • Tégrapol polisher system
  • reflection microscope
  • binocular


This pole grinds samples for the production of powders for chemical analysis or particle size fractions for mineral separations. This unit is directly related to the operation of the Isotope Geochemistry workshop. Mr Nathan Hallot is responsible for the implementation of the preparations, the maintenance of the machines and its management. The workshop is equipped with:

  • jaw crushers
  • roller crusher
  • disc crusher
  • agate crushers
  • abish grinders
  • large diameter diamond saw
  • vibrating column sieving.

Mineral Separations

This pole ensures the separation of minerals from sands obtained after passing the grinding pole. It uses the different properties of minerals in rocks (magnetic densities and susceptibilities) to produce separate fractions of minerals.

Mr Yann Lepagnot is the leader of this analytical center. The workshop is equipped with:

  • Dense liquors (Bromoform and Diiodomethane) and separating funnels.
  • Magnetic separator type Franz
  • Polisher for preparation of epoxy pads