Research Facilities

NIOZ research applies a large number of facilities and techniques which are housed in different sections of NIOZ. This page compiles most of our facilities and references for additional information.

Climate laboratories

NIOZ provides a number of thermo-controlled laboratories for experimental studies and cultivation. Some are designed for a specific purpose and belong to a scientific department, others are for general use and located in the Aquarium-facility. These are managed by the 'climate room committee'.

Core repository

The department of Ocean Systems  (OCS) maintains a repository of sediment cores. An online database has been developed, archiving the cores, their status and the analyses, which have been performed. The XRF CoreScanner delivers photographs of the cores and the archive will be updated with these detailed images in the near future. Explore this CoreBase.

ICP-MS element analysis (High Resolution)

SF ICP-MS is a combination of inductively coupled plasma (ICP) with a mass spectrometer (MS). The SF abbreviates 'Sector Field', which warrants a high resolution. IC-PMS is a popular technique because of its clear advantages:

  • No matrix effects after dilution of >5000x
  • Low limit of detection (ppt-ppb range)
  • Multi element capabilities
  • Trace, minor and major elements in 1 run
  • High sample throughput (200 samples/day)
  • Ability to obtain isotopic information

Typical applications:

  • analysis elemental composition corals
  • analysis elemental composition sediment

For more information, please contact:

Wim Boer
T 0222 369 386/394
@ wim.boer(at)nioz.nl
Molecular Biology Laboratory

The Molecular Biology Laboratory facilitates DNA and RNA targeted approaches to study any marine organism or community: from virus to seal and from tropical reef to polar ice or dark deep ocean communities. The lab is open to all NIOZ scientists but others are also welcome to cooperate or to join proposals.

Click here for more information, or contact Judith van Bleijswijk.

Monitoring and observation




FERRYBOX Marsdiep TESO-ferry; salinity, water temperature, turbidity  FYS
IN-PLACE pole Balgzand tidal flat; tidal level, salinity, temperature, nutrients, light, fluorescence, turbidity, plankton abundance and activity MEE/FYS
NIOZ jetty Jet-Set Marsdiep; tidal level, salinity, temperature, nutrients, light, fluorescence, turbidity, plankton abundance and activity MEE/FYS
Vogelponton Waddensea; field observations on birds MEE

Radio-isotopes are used to for dating sediments and for estimating biogeochemical rates.

Dating sediments

Natural radio-isotopes, such as 234Th en 210Pb as well as man-made isotopes such as 137Cs are often used for dating sediments. Some isotopes can be measured directly using a HR ICP-MS, whereas other isotopes can be detected by alpha and beta spectrometric techniques. Both ICP-MS and spectrometry are available at the GCO Sediment Lab.

For more information, please contact:

Wim Boer (Sedimentlab GCO)
T 0222 369 
@ wim.boer(at)nioz.nl

Assaying Biochemical Activities

Specific metabolic and chemical process rates, be it of cultures or natural communities, can be assayed using radio-active nutrients, energy sources or oxidants. These substrates may be labeled with 3H, 14C, 32P, 33P, or 35S radio-isotopes. Some typical examples of activity measurements include bacterial amino acid uptake rate as a measure for bacterial production, 14C incorporation rates as a measure for primary production, 32P or 33P uptake rates, and 35S-sulfate reduction rates.

Additional information:

Santiago Gonzalez (Radio-isotopelaboratory)
T 0222 369 
@ santiago.gonzalez(at)nioz.nl
Stable isotopes

Stable isotopes from carbonaceous fractions are used to reconstruct salinity and temperature of sea water at the time the (biogenic) carbonate was formed.



Wim Boer (Sedimentlab GCO)
T 0222 369 
@ wim.boer(at)nioz.nl
Seagoing equipment Marine Research Facilities

For the marine scienntific community in the Netherlands, our department 'National Marine Facilities' (NMF) manages a wide array of seagoing equipment, such as instrumentation and gear. More information can be found at 'Marine Research Facilities'.

Other seagoing equipment (non MRF)

Benthic equipment




3-D Bodemschaaf Benthic Biology; sampling macrofauna MEE


Bottom landers




ALBEX Benthic Biology; determining metabolic activities in situ MEE
BOBO Benthic Boundary Layer; sedimentation and hydrodynamics GCO
Testfacilities seagoing equipment

NIOZ provides a large 5x5x5 m3 test basin for seagoing equipment such as bottom landers and a pressure tank for testing smaller modules and units at hydraulic pressures of up to ca 600 bar the equivalence of 6000 m water depth. These facilities are available to external parties as well.

More information commercial use can be found here.