San Gabriel mountain
Geological Sciences

Facilities & Equipment




In addition to a standard spectrum of geological mapping and sample preparation equipment (Brunton compasses, laser rangefinders, GPS receivers, iPads, digital cameras, jaw crushers, shatter box, sieve shaker), the Department possesses a wide variety of equipment to facilitate Earth exploration and sampling endeavors: 6-passenger Ford F-250 pickup with camper shell, 12-passenger Ford van, two Nikon Total Stations for precise surveying, separate Philips X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence instrumentation with upgraded software, Franz magnetic separator, 15 petrographic microscopes, fluid inclusion heating/freezing stage, Seistronix 24-channel seismic refraction instrument with 3-dimensional mapping software, GSSI ground-penetrating radar with two antennas capable of imaging to depths of 10 meters, La Coste-Romberg gravity meter, Gem Systems magnetometer, eleven field-deployable digital seismometers, a hydrogeochemical laboratory with Dionex Ion chromatograph, Milli-Q ultra water purifier, water sampling equipment and water quality meters, six digital velocity flow probes, and a 14-station student computer lab with large format printer. Mineral and rock specimen collections include a comprehensive suite of thin sections and polished sections from classic localities. New purchases for 2014-15 include a Gemini gravity separation shaker table, and Bico disc mill. Read below for more details.

Geophysical and Seismic Equipment

Group workThe Cal Poly Pomona Geological Sciences Department owns industry quality equipment to carry out geophysical surveys. This equipment is used in the labs of classes such as "Shallow Subsurface Geophysics", "Introduction to Seismology" and "Introduction to Global Geophysics", as well as senior thesis research.

Our geophysical equipment includes:

  • LaCoste and Romberg gravimeter, serviced in 2009 and in excellent condition
  • Seismic refraction equipment,including two dataloggers and 24 geophones, Suitable for determination of site characteristics through noise studies
  • Ground penetrating radar
  • Three broadband Guralp CMG-6TD seismometers, ultra-lightweight three-component digital output, ideally suited for rapid installation in medium-noise sites, and immediately put to good use in Hawaii.

Here is a link to field photos/movies of the equipment in use.

Nikon Total Stations

Landscape viewA U.S. Dept. of Education STEM Grant has provided funding to enable the Geological Sciences Department to purchase two Nikon Total Station surveying instruments. The Department of Education provided Cal Poly Pomona with the $4.1 million grant to help the university address the national shortage of professionals entering fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The grant will help Cal Poly build a STEM Pipeline allowing high school students to earn a degree and enter the workforce, particularly in the STEM disciplines. The Geological Sciences Department received $23,000 from this grant to purchase two Nikon Surveying instruments. Nikon equiptment

Nikon's Nivo C Series Total Stations are compact and light weight, utilizing long range EDM measurements in both prism and prismless modes. The Nivo C is also designed with a Windows CE touchscreen interface. Field application software includes Spectra Precision Survey Pro. All Nivo C Total Stations are designed with a dual face display for high precision angle and distance measurements and hot swappable lithium ion bateries. Support for USB and Bluetooth connections is standard.

The Geological Sciences Department will utilize the new total stations in geotechnical classes as well as for field modules and individual student research. Examples of uses for the new equipment include surveying of landslide masses, marine terraces, open pit mines and landscape features such as fault scarps.