Geochemical Research Laboratory

Dr. Richard E. Hughes
laboratory director

About GRL

About Obsidian Sourcing

Laboratory Equipment and Methods

Price Structure

How to Submit Samples

Frequently Asked Questions

Brief Resume of Lab Director

Support for Student Research


After more than 27 years in the same location, Geochemical Research Laboratory is moving from Portola Valley to a larger facility in Sacramento, California!

Beginning on September 1, 2021, please contact Dr. Richard Hughes and send specimens for analysis to the new laboratory address:

2440 East Tiffany Lane, Sacramento, CA  95827

The old lab telephone number (650 851-1410) will no longer be in service after September 1, but Dr. Hughes can be contacted by phone at: (650) 400 -6815


Geochemical Research Laboratory (GRL), founded by Dr. Richard Hughes in 1986, specializes in archaeological geochemistry (obsidian sourcing); specifically, the use of energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (edxrf) spectrometry to determine the selected major, minor, trace, and rare earth element composition of volcanic rocks (predominantly obsidian, dacite, andesite, and basalt), and the use of distinctive combinations of various chemical elements to determine the likely geologic source of origin for archaeological artifacts.

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