The State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics

The State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics at Northwest University was founded on the basis of the former laboratory of department of Geology in 1992 and it quickly became a provincial key laboratory of Shaanxi Province. In 2000, the laboratory was promoted to be a key laboratory of Ministry of Education and 3 years later in 2003 approved to be an incubation base of the province-ministry joined key laboratory by Ministry of Science and Technology. In 2005, the laboratory filed an application to become a state key laboratory, after one year of reconstruction, the Ministry of Science and Technology approved and turned the laboratory into a state key laboratory. This was the first state key laboratory in both Northwest University and the province-run universities in Shaanxi province.

Leveraging the abundant accumulation of 70-year-long academic history in geology at Northwest University and the special geological characteristics of China continent on the global background, particularly on continental geology and basin-mountain coupling in west China, and to pursue the cutting edge of international frontier of continental dynamics and to fulfill the national strategic needs, the laboratory has formed four main research directions:

1) Orogenic belt and basin dynamics;

2) Major tectonic events and evolution of life;

3) Oil and gas basin in west China and evaluation of oil and gas resources;

4) Neotectonics, environmental change and geological hazards.

Equipped with a large number of state-of-art instruments and with focus placed on laser-ICP-MS analysis which is a fundamental method to study geodynamics at present, the development of the laboratory has become one of the few world-class laboratories. Characterized by the in situ micro composition analysis technique, the laboratory has won international recognition.

The laboratory has led and undertaken a number of research projects from the state, NNSF (National Natural Science Foundation) and petroleum companies. For example, one state 973 project, seven key NNSF projects, one project of National Outstanding Youth Fund and 150 million yuan project funded by China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation. The laboratory researchers have published 12 scientific papers as first authors including papers in Nature and Science. Up to date, research outcomes from the laboratory have obtained No.1 and No.2 National Natural Science awards; several Shaanxi Provincial Science and Technology Achievement awards. Two of the research results have been ranked in top 10 of “Chinese Technology Progress award”. Five doctoral theses have been selected in National 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertations. The lab has achieved in the following research areas with international influence: continental dynamics in west China, Cambrian explosion and early evolution of life, crust-mantle exchange, etc.,while the great contributions has been made in areas of exploration and exploitation theory, methods and key technique of energy resources, and ecologic-environmental change to socio-economic sustainable development and national strategic needs.

Address: 229 North Taibai Avenue, Xi’an, P. R. China

Postcode: 710069

Tel: 086-029-88303435

Fax: 086-029-88303447


Instruments in the Laboratory

GeoLas 2005 LA (Lambda Physik)

GeoLas 200M LA (Lambda Physik)

Q-ICPMS (PerkinElmer)

Q-ICPMS (Varian)

MC-ICPMS (Nu plasma)


Femto (NewWave)

Q-ICPMS (Agilent)

MC-ICPMS (Nu Plasma IsIs)

HR-ICPMS (Nu Attom)

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