About the Department
The Department of Earth Sciences at Pondicherry University was started in September 1994. The Department is being supported by UGC- Special Assistance Programme at DRS level and by DST-FIST Programme. A National Facility for geochronology and isotope geosciences in housed in the Department. The Department strives to achieve academic excellence and to produce geoscientists with world class training.
About Head of Department
Dr. Rajneesh Bhutani
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The Department has well equipped laboratories with sophisticated equipment to cater to the needs of practical course-work of M.Sc. students as well as for research. Major facilities available in the Department are listed below: Mineralogy, Petrology & Paleontology Laboratories: Student’s and Research model Polarizing Microscopes with Photographic facility heating-freezing stage for fluid inclusion Analysis Stereoscopic zoom microscopes, Laser Particle Size Analyser, X-ray Powder Diffractometer, Isodynamic Magnetic Separator are available in the Department. SEM, XRF and EPMA are available in CIF to support paleontological / mineralogical / petrological studies. Museum: The department has a Geology museum with a collection of about 800 rock forming minerals, ore minerals, industrial minerals, various type of rocks and fossils. Geochemical Laboratory: Advanced analytical facilities like ICPAES, ICP-MS are available. This laboratory also has other minor equipment like Furnace, Electronic balance, Spectrophotometer, Flame photometer, Conductivity meter, pH meter, MilliQ Water Purifier etc. Isotope Geoscience Laboratory: Thermal ionization mass spectrometer with ultra-clean laboratory to carry out Rb-Sr, Sm- Nd and U-Th-Pb geochronological and isotope studies is available. This laboratory is also used for cosmogenic isotope studies (10Be, 26Al) in collaboration with IUAC, New Delhi. Computing and Remote sensing & GIS Facility: Adequate number of PCs with internet connectivity through University intranet and online access for large number of journals and other e-sources. ERDAS, ArcGIS, ENVI-IDL, Total Station Microsurvey CADD2010 softwares and digital satellite imageries for remote sensing and GIS applications are available. IRMS Laboratory: For measurement of stable isotope composition of H, C, O, S, in a variety of sample (water carbonates, sulphides Organic Metter etc) a lab is established as a central facility. Field Equipment: Global positioning system, Survey equipment, SLR and Digital cameras are available to carryout geological field studies. Geoscience Workshop: Rock cutting machine, thin section preparing machine, Mounting machine for polished ore blocks are available for preparing thin sections and ore mounts. Ball mill and Planetary mill with agate grinding sets, Automatic sieve shaker are available for sample preparation. Geophysics Laboratory: Digital refraction seismic timer with geophone, Terrameter, Portable magnetometer and Resistivity meters are available. Topographic maps and Geological maps: Large collection of topographic maps in 1: 50000 scale covering southern states of India and Geological maps of Indian states, Districts and important mineral deposits in various scales have been procured.
Thrust Area of Teaching & Research
The research areas offered by the Department are Geochemistry, Isotope Geochronology, Ore Geology, Sedimentology, Paleontology, Structural Geology, Tectonics and Metamorphic Petrology
DST has provided funds under FIST programme (` 78 lakhs) for the Second Phase and UGC has sanctioned funds under SAP-DRS programme (` 70 lakhs) recently.
Placement & Internships
The academic curriculum of the Department helps a good number of students to qualify in national level competitive examinations including NET, GATE, and to find placement in major geoscientific organizations like AMD, GSI, CGWB, NHPC, ONGC, etc. Private companies also recruit students through on and off campus placements.
All the faculty have research projects funded by DST,CSIR, UGC, PRL, BRNS, PLANEX etc. Recognising the research capability of the Department A Laser ablation system has been recently added to the ICP – MS. Research activities on paleoclimate has been initiated with setting up of IRMS based stable Isotope facility.