Laboratory of Unconsolidated Materials

The Unconsolidated Materials Laboratory (UML), located in Bologna, via Zamboni 67 (Geology building), is specialized in the extraction and processing of micro/macro fossils, such as foraminifers, ostracods and molluscs, from sediments.


The main treatments carried out in the UML are:


  1. sample disaggregation with water and hydrogen peroxide of foraminifers, ostracods and molluscs (Green, 2001);
  2. samples quartering for the quantitative analysis of micro/macro fossils assemblage;
  3. ultrasonic baths for the fossil cleaning;
  4. dried and wet sieving;
  5. pretreatment for stable isotope and radiocarbon analysis.


In the Laboratory there is also a room where it is possible to cut core samples.


Equipment available to the laboratory


In addition to the basic equipment the UML is equipped with the following instruments:

  • sieving columns;
  • splitter;
  • ultrasonic bath;
  • flow head;
  • oven;
  • centrifuge;
  • precision balance;


Didactic, training and research activities


The laboratory offers its own resources to support:

  • practice for first and second cycle degree students in the context of the courses of Paleontology and Micropaleontological Applications to Stratigraphy and Paleoclimatology;
  • preparation of degree and PhD theses;
  • curricular intership activities;
  • development of research projects.


Services and advices:

The Laboratory should be contacted for the preparation and analysis of samples for external users.


Benthic foraminiferal and ostracod assemblage

Macrofossil content of a core sample

Laboratory view of “Unconsolidated Materials”. Procedures of sample preparation for macropaleontological analysis

Photograph of a cored succession under examination

Ultrasonic bath of laboratory