Southampton University

Key laboratory expertise

  • Seismo-acoustic, electrical and geotechnical properties of marine sediments
  • Seismic and electrical properties of hydrocarbon reservoir rocks, seismic attenuation, anisotropy and carbonates
  • Physical properties of massive sulphide deposits
  • Marine geohazard assessment (seafloor slope failure)
  • Hydrocarbon exploration, reservoir development, enhanced oil recovery and monitoring
  • Geological CO2 storage; deep sea mining


Staff and Students

The work of the Rock Physics Laboratory is supported by 2 members of full time academic staff and a technician. We currently host 2 PhD students.

Alumni from the lab can be found in academia, government, and key industries worldwide.

Rock Physics Laboratory

The NOC Rock Physics Laboratory (RPL) specialises in experimental studies of geophysical phenomena in marine sediments and rocks. Research undertaken in the laboratory aims to further the understanding of fundamental interactions between sediment/rock properties and their elastic and electrical properties.


50mm diameter core plug rigs: We operate four 50mm diameter core plug high pressure (max. 60MPa) testing rigs, instrumented for measuing frequency-dependent P- and S-wave velocity and attenuation (0.1–1.0 MHz), Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and Electrical Resistivity Anisotropy (ERA). The rigs are temperature controlled (−10°C to 50°C) and can inject a range of pore fluids (air, water, brine, oil, methane, CO2 and mixed phase). The rigs can also measure sample strain and in situ absolute and relative permeability using various steady state and transient methods.
70mm diameter impedance tube: The impedance tube can accurately measure P-wave velocity and attenuation over the frequency range of many sonic logging tools (1–10 kHz). The 5m long impedance tube can accommodate 70mm diameter samples of hard or soft sediment up to 1m in length. The impedance tube is also instrumented with our ERT and ERA systems and is temperature (0–50°C) and pressure controlled (0–60MPa) enabling a wide variety of experiments to be performed, e.g., gas hydrate and carbon capture and storage (CCS) studies.

Current Projects

Seismic attentuation in marine sediments;