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?
Most of the models used today to invert the geophysical data gathered in the field are constrained by experimental data. The laboratory provides controlled conditions in which experiments and measurements are performed.
Nevertheless, as much as controlled a rock physics experiment can be, rocks are extremely complex and hence, unraveling the geophysical effect of continuous sequences of diagenetic/metagenetic events on rock properties is difficult. Our approach relies on coupling experiments
inducing Earth processes and time-lapse rock 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 due to the processes that have led the rock formation to be characterized by the properties we measure at present time.