Research Facilities

Departmental Lab Facilities

Subsurface Flow and Transport Modeling Laboratory - resources include:

  • GMS, MODFLOW, and AQTESOLV analytical software.  On-campus operational well field (piezometers and pumped well) with data loggers and pressure transducers.  Sandtank models.
  • Bailers, well sampling equipment, water level measurement, sonic water level indicator.

Virtual Earth Research Facility - resources include:

  • Computer lab with PC workstations for 15 users with additional three Hess workstations (Shared with Subsurface Laboratory), with ArcGIS and ENVI software, a large format roll scanner and a large format ink jet plotter
  • Linux workstations for processing satellite-based radar data (InSAR)

    Subsurface Geology and Geological Engineering Laboratory - resources include:

    • Computer lab with PC workstations for 15 users with additional three Hess workstations (Shared with Virtual Earth), with the Schlumberger software packages: Eclipse, Petrel, PIPESIM, Techlog, and Ocean.  Three Baker Hughes workstations with JewelSuite Subsurface Modeling software.
      • Ground-penetrating radar, 24 channel seismic recorder, Proton precession magnetometer.

      Geomechanics Laboratory - resources include:

      • Soil shear box, Roctest point load devise, Schmidt hammers, rock-shear strength apparatus, and vibrating wire extensometers.  GCTS Triaxial Load Frame system with pulse-decay permeameter.
      • Van-mounter Geoprobe (auger and vibrating hammer), Mobile drilling rig (auger).
      • 3D photogrammetry system, 3D modeling system using a quad-copter, ground-based LiDAR scanner (Shared with Virtual Earth).

        Geophysics High Performance Computing and Robotics Laboratory

        The Geophysics Research Team operates an externally-supported High Performance Computing laboratory that is specifically designed for parallel execution of Finite Element Model-based forward and inverse analyses of geophysical data, as well as acquiring and processing big data streams from robotic systems.  Resources include:

        • Hephaestus: 48-core CPU node with 196GB RAM, GPU node with 7 GPU cards, and 10x teraflop performance. Hephaestus resides in a hermetically-sealed vault with three-phase power conditioning and UPS backup. Software includes:
           - Abaqus (finite element analysis)
           - IDL (GP data analysis)
           - Rhino3D (industry-standard CAD)
           - Petrel (reservoir simulation)
           - ISCE (InSAR processing code from NASA JPL). 
        • Firewalker robot swarm. A system of a 33 tracked rovers for collecting and processing geophysical data streams for both surface and underground operations. Swarm instrumentation and capabilities include:
           - cm-scale kGPS positioning
           - accelerometers for seismic acquisition and sub-degree orientation measurements
           - Lidar
           - Orbbec 3D optical devices
           - thermal, gas, and radiation sensors

        Experimental Petrology Laboratory - resources include:

        • Two one-atmosphere quench and gas-mixing furnaces
        • Lindberg Platinum horizontal furnace and Lindberg box furnace
        • Mini torch/welding tool for capsules
        • Optical microscopes and imaging software
        • Sample processing lab with rock saws, rock crushers, and polishing wheels, 0.1mg scale

        Other Research Facilities On-Campus and Nearby

        • 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, 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.  

           

          Groundwater Flow Model Results

          Hydraulic Conductivity Modeling Using Geostatistics

           

           

          Experimental Petrology Lab

          Experimental Petrology Lab

           

          3D Photogrammetric Slope Model

          3D Photogrammetric Slope Model at Badlands National Park