Geochemistry refers to the chemical interactions of earth processes, including aqueous geochemistry which is the interaction between water, rocks, minerals, and soils (including organic matter). These water/earth interactions leave geochemical fingerprints that can be revealed by laboratory analyses of water, rock, and mineral samples.
Geochemical fingerprints can be used as tracers to describe the history of the water -- What rocks has the water come in contact with? How old is the groundwater? Geochemical fingerprints from man's activities, pollution, or contamination are revealed using geochemistry, isotopes, and trace-gas analyses.
SWHL uses these geochemical tools:
--Soil, water, and rock analyses for major ions and trace metals
--Water and rock analyses for isotopes of oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur
--Groundwater and spring analyses for CFCs and age dating
--Soil and lake sediment analyses for age dating
--Mineral identification by electron microscope and x-ray diffraction
--Geochemical modeling, lake and reservoir modeling
Photo: Framboidal pyrite collected on water-sample filter paper, captured by scanning electron microscope (c) SWHL.