The research at the Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory focuses on experiments designed to understand the connections between geophysical properties measured at the surface of the Earth or within boreholes with the intrinsic properties of rocks – i.e., mineralogy, porosity, pore fluids, stress conditions, and the overall rock architecture such as laminations, fractures, and the intricate pore network.
Why a Rock Physics Laboratory?
The rock physics laboratory enables one to study geophysical phenomenon with a high degree of control over environmental conditions so that precise links can be made between geophysical observables and grain-scale processes. Nevertheless, natural rocks are extremely complex; therefore unraveling the effect of continuous sequences of diagenetic/metagenetic events on rock properties is difficult. Our approach relies on coupling rock physics experiments and time-lapse 2D and 3D imaging to monitor the induced changes – e.g. rock-fluid interactions, kerogen maturation, and mineral transformations. The goal of our forward-experimental approach is to understand higher-order relationships between rock formation processes and geophysical observables.