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SUERC Cosmogenic Nuclide Research Group

Now Available for Collaborative Research





SUERC-Cosmo is based at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), East Kilbride, Scotland, UK, and uses isotope geochemistry, accelerator mass spectrometry, and modelling to address questions in Earth, Environmental and Archaeological Science.


The Earth is continually bombarded by high energy cosmic rays and the interaction of these particles with atoms in the atmosphere and solid Earth produces extremely rare cosmogenic nuclides. Since the major advances in analytical sensitivity, accuracy and precision in the 1980s in-situ produced cosmogenic nuclides have become a widely used tool to address scientific questions in Earth surface sciences. Cosmogenic nuclides allow us to determine how long surfaces have been exposed to cosmic rays, or how fast they have been eroding, or how long previously exposed sediments have subsequently been buried. These capabilities have been utilised to address a wide range of first-order problems in geomorphology, glaciology, palaeoclimatology, palaeoseismology, volcanology, geohazard research, soil science, and archaeology.


SUERC-Cosmo utilises cosmogenic He-3, Be-10, C-14, Ne-21, Al-26, and Cl-36 in different mineral systems, and two dating techniques, surface exposure dating and burial dating. Surface exposure dating and quantifying erosion rates utilises the build-up of cosmogenic nuclides in minerals exposed to cosmic rays, while burial dating utilises the differential decay of cosmogenic radionuclides when minerals are shielded from cosmic rays.


Combining these approaches provides geoscientists with a powerful toolkit to examine landscape evolution and climate change. Group oversight and steering is provided by Dr. Derek Fabel and Prof. Fin Stuart, who work collaboratively to deliver scientific excellence and push the boundaries of cosmogenic nuclide geochemistry and analysis.

Services & Opportunities






Collaboration can take many forms and will stem from a mutually beneficial working relationship between individuals, groups or organisations. At the earliest stages we suggest that you consider the objectives of any proposed collaboration and how these will bring benefits to all involved. It is important to set objectives out clearly so that they can inform any discussions with SUERC-Cosmo. We actively collaborate with over 20 academic institutions and businesses across the planet and provide leading and supporting roles in research grants, project studentships, knowledge exchange and outreach activities. If you want to collaborate with SUERC-Cosmo contact us below.


Commercial measurements

Our commercial rates vary according to the nature of the samples, preparation procedures, size of the project and combination of analyses requested. For a full range of analytical services that we offer on a commercial basis follow the more info. link below. Typically, we would offer 'rock-to-result' service — you send us a rock, we send you a result. We also offer options for consultancy, pre-screening of samples for suitability and full data interpretation. To discuss commercial project costs please complete the contact form below. Packages can be tailored to client needs and budgets. Value for money and customer satisfaction is a key component of our service delivery.


Opportunities to study or work with us

MSc and PhD studentships:

SUERC-Cosmo is a component of the IAPETUS 2 and E4 NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships. We welcome direct enquiries from students with 2.1 (or equivalent) degree qualifications in geoscience and physics to come and study with us.


Post-doctoral opportunities:

We welcome enquiries from anyone considering applying for Research Fellowships (e.g., NERC, ERC, MSCA, or The Royal Society) involving the use of cosmogenic nuclides for surface exposure dating, quantifying surface erosion rates, burial dating, or isotopic tracer research

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NEIF: SUERC-Cosmo hosts the cosmogenic nuclide component of the NERC National Environmental Isotope Facility (NEIF). For NERC eligible PIs, further information to access the NEIF can be found here.

Day-to-day operation of NEIF-Cosmo is managed by Derek Fabel.

Next NEIF deadline:

Sample Submission Information

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