Research activities in the Department of Geological Sciences are far-reaching and often interdisciplinary. Students and faculty pursue field and laboratory study in geophysics, environmental geology (hydrogeology, environmental geochemistry), earth surface processes, sedimentology, basin analysis, petrology, economic geology, geomicrobiology, and geochemistry. The department also includes the Center for Integrated Watershed Studies, a source of expertise on the natural features of watersheds and the human effects on them.
State-of-the-art laboratory facilities and equipment support a wide range of instructional and research activities. Binghamton faculty and students create computer models of basin sedimentation, magma chamber processes, Earth tides, oscillations and wobbles, and seawater chemical fractionation. Laboratory investigations include high-temperature, high-pressure studies of clay, lawsonite, amphibole, and diamond stability; water, air, and particulate microanalysis; fluid inclusion research; biogeochemistry; and the analysis of whole-rocks, mineral separates, and minerals in-situ for both major and trace elements.
Recent field studies have examined differentiation in intrusive sills in Arctic Canada and the United States; iron-ore deposits in Chile, and Mexico; paleoclimate indicators in Lake Magadi, East Africa; depositional history of a delta in present-day Wyoming.