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XRF Core Scanning Facility
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XRF Core Scanning Facility


The Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth hosts the LacCore X-ray fluorescence (XRF) lab. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Minnesota, this lab provides analyses for the paleoclimate research community.

The ITRAX XRF Corescanner provides nondestructive analysis for concentrations of most elements from Aluminum (atomic number 13) to Uranium (92). Stratigraphic resolution varies from 0.2 mm to 2 cm, and dwell time per sample point ranges from 1 second for abundant elements to 2 minutes for trace elements. Typical scans are at 5 to 10 mm stratigraphic resolution and 10 to 20 seconds per sample point. These parameters are selected to address the research needs of each project.

In addition to elemental analysis, the Corescanner also produces a digital X-radiographic image at 16-bit grayscale density and 0.2 mm resolution. Time required varies from 30 to 60 minutes per meter, depending on core thickness and density.

In May of 2015 the Itrax Core Scanning XRF underwent a major hardware upgrade. This consisted of new electronics and a new detector which increased our detection capabilities by over 5 times. This means we are able to use lower count rates, which saves on machine time, yet yield better data with higher counts and lower signal to noise ratios.


  • Policies
    Suitable materials for analysis are unsampled split cores, u-channels from cores, and whole cores (for X-radiographic image only). Maximum length is 180 cm. The core surface must be carefully cleaned and leveled prior to scanning.
  • Cost and Contract
    Our current rate for analysis is $34.50 per core and $34.50 per hour of machine time. The amount of time required for each section depends on the desired resolution and counting time per sample point. Runs can be as short as a couple hours per meter for centimeter scale resolution, which is commonly run with a 15 second counting time, and as much as 30 hours per meter for sub-millimeter resolution, which can have counting times from 5 to 15 seconds.
  • Visitors: Local Lodging Options

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Aaron "Wally" Lingwall
XRF Lab Manager
Large Lakes Observatory
University of Minnesota Duluth
2205 E 5th St.
Duluth, MN 55812
Phone (218)726-8897

Erik T. Brown

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Last modified on 09/07/16 01:08 PM
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