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About

Our work is focused on discovering and understanding the relations between geophysical measurements (e.g., seismic and electrical) and the underlying rock and fluid properties (composition, porosity, permeability, microstructure). Our approach is to combine laboratory measurements, geophysical field data, chemistry, mechanics, geologic concepts, theory, and numerical simulations in order to build predictive models of rock behavior.

The Rock Physics Group is directed by Prof. Gary Mavko, and co-directed by Prof. Tapan Mukerji, Sr. Research Scientist Jack Dvorkin and Prof. Tiziana Vanorio. Currently we have one postdoctoral scholar, 13 graduate students, a lab assistant.

We are a part of the SRB project, in collaboration with the Stress and Crustal Mechanics Group.

Mission Statement

To discover and understand the relations between geophysical measurements and underlying rock and fluid properties, and while doing so, help to train the next generations of world-class Earth Scientists.

Research Goals

  • To understand how the elastic and electrical properties of rock are determined by their composition, porosity, microstructure, and pore fluid content.
  • To understand how chemical reactivity of pore fluids and minerals impacts the physical properties of rocks.
  • To build quantitative, physically-based models that illustrate the fundamental processes occurring within rocks, and that can make accurate predictions of rock properties with variations in composition, saturation, temperature, and stress.

Approach

  • Laboratory measurements of electrical and elastic properties of rocks under in situ conditions of temperature and stress.
  • Laboratory measurements of porosity, permeability, and composition of rocks and pore fluids.
  • High resolution images (SEM, CLSM, FIB, CT) of rock micro/nano structure.
  • High performance computational simulation of elastic and transport properties of rocks, as well as simulation of compaction and elastic properties of unconsolidated sediments.
  • Chemical modeling and analysis of changes to rock properties associated with reactive fluids.
  • Theoretical effective medium modeling of rock elastic, poroelastic, mechanical, and transport properties.
  • Analysis and interpretation of geophysical field data, integrated with rock physics and geologic concepts.