Research Facilities

Departmental Lab Facilities


Virtual Earth Research Facility - resources include:


Subsurface Geology and Geological Engineering Laboratory - resources include:

  • Computer lab with PC workstations for 15 users, with the Schlumberger software packages: Eclipse, Petrel, PIPESIM, Techlog, and Ocean.

Geomechanics Laboratory  - resources include:

  • Equipment includes soil shear box, Roctest point load devise, Schmidt hammers, rock-shear strength apparatus, fiber optic strain and thermal sensors

Other Departmental Laboratories

  • Groundwater laboratory with digital and analytical modeling capabilities
  •  Sample processing lab with rock saws, rock crushers and polishing wheels
  • Optical petrology lab with research quality optical microscopes and imaging software
  • Geodynamics laboratory with heavy workstations: Multi-core with hyperthreading (up to 48 effective compute cores), GPU acceleration with teraflop performance, big cache and RAM, and solid state drives. These heavy workstations are specifically configured for parallel execution of finite element models in both forward and inverse analyses of geophysical data. Software includes Abaqus (finite element analysis), IDL (general-purpose data analysis), and Rhino3D (industry-standard CAD).

Major Field Equipment and Facilities
  • On-campus operational well field with data loggers and transducers
  • Van-mounted geoprobe unit
  • 10 Trimble Juno SB GPS units
  • 3D photogrammetric camera system
  • Ground-based LIDAR camera 
  • Ground-probing radar
  • Hydrologic analysis system
  • Portable wind tunnel
  • Mobile drilling rig

Other Research Facilities on-campus
  • Biogeochemistry Core Facility houses modern, cutting-edge instrumentation to support student and faculty ecological and environmental research.
  • Engineering Mining Experiment Station provides analytical and technical services that include x-ray diffraction, 3D x-ray microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, analytical chemistry and elemental analysis, fluid inclusion microthermometry, and visible and near Infrared spectroradiometry.
  • The Museum of Geology consists of two distinct components: the public museum and the James E. Martin Paleontology Research Laboratory (MPRL), the latter of which houses four research labs and over 500,000 geological and paleontological specimens.
  • Sanford Underground Research Facility provides a dedicated deep underground research laboratory for physics, biology, geology and engineering research.