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.  


          James Martin Paleontology Lab

          James Martin Paleontology Lab


          James Martin Paleontology Lab

          James Martin Paleontology Lab

          Repository - Museum of Geology