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Department of Earth Sciences

The Rock mechanics Laboratory was established in the Earth Sciences Department in December 2010 and it is managed by Prof. Bob Holdsworth and Dr. Nicola De Paola.

Low to High Velocity Rotary Shear Apparatus (LHVR)

The LHVRS apparatus can measure the evolution of the frictional properties of both granular and solid rock materials at normal stresses up to 20 MPa and slip rates ranging from 1 mm/year to 1 m/s. By covering this range of velocities, the apparatus allows the laboratory investigation of poorly understood deformation processes occurring along active faults including both creeping movements and seismic slip.

Triaxial Loading Apparatus with Fluid Flow (TFF)

The TFF apparatus allows the quantitative investigation of the fracturing processes of rocks during deformation under upper crustal pressure and temperature conditions (up to 10km depth), and how these processes can affect the evolution of the rock fluid transport properties. It also allows the quantitative estimation of the transport properties of rocks (both intact and granular) under evolving conditions of pore fluid pressure and in the presence of reactive fluids (i.e. carbon dioxide).

The Rock Mechanics Laboratory also contains extensive facilities for Rock Preparation, including a Core Drill, Cylindrical Grinder, and Rock Crushing Tools.