Welcome to the Rock Physics & Geomechanics Laboratory of the Department of Geology & Petroleum Geology at the University of Aberdeen. Thanks to recent funding from the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC), the laboratoary was refitted in January 2016 with new state-of-the-art High Pressure/High Temperature Rock Deformation Apparatus, supplied by Sanchez Technologies. You can read the full story here.

In addition to the capabilities outlined below, where possible we integrate all data with thin section analyses using optical and scanning electron microscopy.  We also compare measured data with theoretical predictions from rock physics and rock mechanics models.  The lab is part of UKBritRock, a network of rock mechanics labs in the UK. We regularly host visiting students and interns from the UK and overseas.  

rock mechanics laboratory sign

Facilities

Rock Mechanics

  • Triaxial rock deformation apparatus (Sanchez Technologies) with confining pressure to 250 MPa, axial stress to 1500 MPa and temperature to 200°C.  We can measure stress, strain, elasticity, acoustic velocities, permeability and pore fluid volumes during deformation.  We are adding acoustic emission detection to this device.  Loading can be either constant strain rate or constant stress.  This device takes cylindrical core plug samples 25 mm in diameter and up to 60 mm long.  This apparatus has been funded by the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC, part of the SFC) but is available for a wide range of projects funded from various sources. Further information on the capabilities of this equipment is available here
  • Uniaxial rock deformation apparatus (Controls Testing) with axial force up to 2000 kN.  We can measure stress, strain and elasticity during deformation.  This device takes cylindrical or block samples over a range of sizes.  We are adding acoustic emission detection to this device.

Rock deformation apparatus

Porosimetry

  • 2 helium porosimeters for 1” and 1.5” diameter core plugs
  • Mercury injection porosimeter (Autopore IV 9500 from Micromeritics) for capillary pressure and pore throat size distributions
Helium porosimeter MICP

Permeametry

      • High P permeameterHassler sleeve nitrogen permeameter using constant flow rate for 1”, 1.5” and 40 mm diameter core plugs 
      • High pressure nitrogen permeameter using constant flow rate, with confining pressure and fluid pressure to 250 MPa (36 kpsi). 1” and 20 mm diameter core plugs
      • High pressure water permeameter using transient decay or constant flow rate, with confining pressure and fluid pressure to 250 MPa (36 kpsi). 1” and 20 mm diameter core plugs [under construction]

Acoustic velocities

      • P- and S-wave velocity measurements at ultrasonic (~1 MHz) frequencies on dry samples. Sample holders for axial and radial measurements to quantify velocity anisotropy
      • P- and S-wave velocity measurements at ultrasonic (~1 MHz) frequencies on fluid saturated samples, at confining pressures up to 70 MPa (10 kpsi) and fluid pressures to 17 MPa (2.5 kpsi). Pressure vessel can hold up to 5 x 1.5” cores simultaneously [under construction]
Fluid saturated ultrasonics, under construction Ultrasonics

Research

We have active research programmes in permeability anisotropy, rock physics of volcanics and volcaniclastics, the links between evaporite fabrics and anisotropies, and hydrothermal alteration of fractured granites. 

Usage

Staff and students interested in rock physics and geomechanical measurements are welcome to use the laboratory. Laboratory fees for consumables and staff time are generally paid for via research grant income, or industrial sponsorship. Please contact the lab manger for more information.

 

Sponsors:

 OGIC logo