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The Laboratory for Palynological Preparations

The Laboratory is equipped for pollen extraction from sediments and morphoscopic analysis of fine-grained microscopic organic matter: hoods, centrifuges, air pump, stirrer, sieving systems, glassware.

 

 

The CNR - IDPA Laboratory owns a LECO® TGA 601 thermogravimetric analyzer for automated analysis on water, total organic matter, carbonate, silicoclastic and oxides components of sediment samples.

The Laboratory for Plant Macro-remains Preparations

Sediment samples for macro-remains analysis are processed in the Laboratory equipped at the CNR - ARM3 Area.

The Laboratory of Optical Microscopy

The Laboratory of Palynology and Palaeoecology is equipped with four biological microscopes and one stereomicroscope provided with digital camera. In the CNR - ARM3 Area one additional biological microscope and one stereomicroscope provided with digital camera are available.

A microscope for bright and dark field observations, used for anthracological analysis, is available  at the CNR - ARM3 Area. The reference collection of charcoal is in progress and consists of ca. 75 species.

The reference pollen collection includes 1551 pollen samples belonging to 648  species especially documenting the Alpine and Pre-Alpine flora. It is available in two copies at the Laboratory of Palynology (Università di Milano Bicocca) and at the CNR - ARM3 Area.

The reference collection of plant macroremains (seeds, fruits and vegetative parts) includes 909 samples belonging to 562 species. It is available at the CNR - ARM3 Area.

Coring and sampling techniques

Manual corings in sediment and soft soils down to 10 m depth: the Laboratory is equipped with undisturbed peat corers of various lenghts and diameters, gouge and Edelmann augers, tools for percussion and extrusion. They may operate in inconvenient locations and extreme environments. The C.N.R. - IDPA also holds expertise in geophysical prospection supporting projects of deep coring (www.idpa.cnr.it).

 

 

right: (above) part of the coring equipment of the Laboratory of Palynology, (middle) manual coring from the frozen surface of a mountain lake and (below) coring through the deposits of the Lavagnone Basin (Garda amphitheatre)

 

 

 

below: (left) core from peat deposits obtained with a russian corer (Crotte basse mire, Mt. Fallère - Aosta) and (right) core from lake deposits obtained with a russian corer (Lavagnone Basin)

 

Deep continuous corings with scientific purposes (idraulic extrusion and specific feed) are usually carried out by specialized firms. 

right: deep coring in the lacustrine, glaciolacustrine and glacial-contact deposits in the Basin of the ancient lake Lucone (Polpenazze del Garda)

The position of corings and samplings can be accurately set thanks to the total station available in the Laboratory of Palynology.

 

 

 

 

on the right: total station and prism

Sediments are usually sampled with volumetric piston samplers, enabling the sampling of precise volumes of sediment to be further treated in the laboratory.

right: sampling for pollen analysis the deposits of the Lavagnone Basin with a volumetric piston sampler and high-resolution sampling for pollen analysis of a sediment core (Forcello di Bagnolo San Vito)

Core and samples repository

The core repository of the Laboratory of Palynology is housed at the CNR - ARM3 Area. Cores drilled during coring campaigns are stored there. 

 

 

left: shelves for cores and samples storage

 

Cores obtained with manual coring and stored in plastic tubes are usually kept in fridges under constant temperature and humidity, to avoid desiccation and mould.

 

left: one of the fridges used for sediment storage

 

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