Geomechanics & Petrophysics Laboratory
Heriot-Watt University
Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering
Gary Couples
tel. +44 (0) 131 451 3123

Research in Geomechanics and Petrophysics is based on the idea of understanding the relationships between measured properties and the reasons that govern the expression of those properties.

The laboratory possesses a range of experimental equipment and apparatus for making various direct measurements including stress change regimes, permeability, magnetic properties and rock textures. The lab also makes use of in-house and commercial software for geomechanical simulation studies. In-house software development allows investigations to continue beyond the limits of commercial software e.g. integrated suite of pore-scale applications that calculate macroscopic rock properties.

  • true-triaxial Smart Cell measuring stress changes on permeability and acoustic properties
  • direct shear machine and micro-permeameter for permeability measurements
  • innovative equipment for measuring magnetic properties
  • rock texture studies using new-generation Scanning Electron Microscope facility
  • Caprocks Phase3
    Use of sample-scale property data to determine upscaled flow properties of mud-rich sedimentary rocks; examination of the processes of shallow compaction
  • MechSeis Phase1 (part of the International Centre for Carbonate Reservoirs)
    Application of geomaterial approach to carbonate rocks, examining relationship of primary rock texture and how it evolves with deformation to govern emergent properties (permeability, acoustic, strength)
  • Shell Soft Sand Project
    Industry sponsored investigation into the effect of water saturation on unconsolidated sand at the wellbore

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