The State Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry (SKLaBIG), officially established in 2011, is one of the major research divisions under the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The predecessor of the SKLaBIG is the CAS Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochronology and Geochemistry, which was established in 2004 but can be traced back to the earliest laboratory of rare element mineral chemistry in China (1956) and the earliest laboratory of isotopic radiometric chronology in China (1960), both of which lay foundation of elemental and isotope geochemistry in China. The director and chair of advisory committee of the SKLaBIG are Professor Yi-Gang Xu (Academician of CAS) and Professor Yong-Fei Zheng (Academician of CAS), respectively.
The SKLaBIG is engaged in research of three fields, namely basic theories, methodology and new techniques of isotope geochemistry, elemental and isotopic compositions and dynamic evolution of earth’s interior and surface, and the interaction between earth’s layers and their impacts on resources and (paleo-)environment. It is committed to promoting development of the earth science disciplines and providing scientific knowledge and technical advices on fundamental scientific issues regarding natural resources and environment. The current research themes include: (1) Element and isotope systematics; (2) new methods and new techniques for element and isotope analyses; (3) Assembly and dispersal of continentss, intracontinental reworking, and their effects on mineral resources; and (4) deep earth’s interior processes and earth system evolution.
The SKLaBIG now has 78 permanent staffs, among which there are 30 research professors, 1 CAS academician, 7 laureates of the National Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars and 2 laureates of the National Foundation for Outstanding Young Scientists. In addition, SKLaBIG has more than 170 research associates, post-doc researchers, or graduate students for M.Sc. degree or D.Sc. degree. In addition to isotope geochemistry, isotope geochronology, elemental geochemistry, analytical geochemistry, the SKLaBIG also include other disciplines such as tectonics, petrology, mineralogy, geophysics, experimental geochemistry and economic geology, which allow organization of cross-disciplinary research teams. Among the projects completed by SKLaBIG, two projects were awarded State Natural Science Award (2nd grade), one awarded State Science and Technological Progress Award (Silver), and six were awarded Provincial Science and Technological Progress prize (Gold). There are 12 function laboratories in SKLaBIG, which occupy room spaces of about 5100 m2 and are equipped with 21 instruments such as SIMS, Nano-SIMS, TIMS, LA-MC-ICPMS, Argus VI MS, XRF, ICP-AES, ICP-MS, EPMA, SEM, IRMS, Patterson device, piston cylinder, and DIA type large-cavity press etc.
The director and deputy directors are responsible for the routine management of the key laboratory. All research professors are involved in a committee which is dedicated to set up diverse regulations of the lab. An Open Fund with an annual budget of c.a. 1 million Yuan is set up to support cooperational studies between SKLaBIG staffs and the domestic/international scientists.