University of Edinburgh

Key laboratory expertise

  • Rock Physics
  • Seismo-tectonics
  • X-Ray Computed Tomography
  • Volcano seismology and eruption forecasting


Staff and Students

The work of the Rock Physics Laboratory is supported by a full time technician and 4 members of full time academic staff. We currently host 2 PhD students and 1 postdoctoral fellow, and support a further 3-4 MSc projects annually on a range of project topics.

Alumni from the lab can be found in academia, industry, and government posts worldwide.

Rock Physics Laboratory

The Rock Physics Laboratory has been newly rejuvenated, with an updated triaxial deformation rig (built in house) and acoustic emission equipment (Applied Seismology Richter data acquisition combined with trigger and hit count systems and pulser receivers). The laboratory is dedicated to studies of rock mechanics, including coupled physical and chemical processes and damage mechanics and is linked closely with the Experimental X-ray Microtomography laboratory.

The Rock Physics Big Rig (housed in the School of Engineering) is a triaxial press capable of handling 100mm OD samples and applying loads of up to 2MN and confining conditions up to 70MPa. The rig is currently being updated to accept a new control system and a new large sample True Triaxial cell.


Rock Physics Big Rig: 100mm OD samples and applying loads of up to 2MN and confining conditions up to 70MPa
True Triaxial Cell: Capable of providing a 'true' triaxial stress regime to cubic samples for imitating the Earth system to simulated depths of 4km.
HT/HP X-Ray transparent deformation cell: Recently developed via a NERC stadard grant this apparatus is designed to be placed into an X-ray (synchroton) beamline for imahing rock deformation for small (mm-scale) samples during deformation at high temperature and pressure.

Current Projects

Rock deformation under in-situ rheological contitions with high speed X-Ray CT;