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géosciences montpellier
de montpellier
campus triolet
place eugène bataillon
34095 montpellier cedex05

+33(0)4 67 14 36 02

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Home > Platforms > Petrophysics


Management : Richard Leprovost (IR) and Sylvie Demouchy (CR)

This platform brings together researchers from CNRS, teacher-researchers from the University of Montpellier, engineers and technicians, post-docs and students. They work for a large part by an experimental approach on the physico-chemical properties of rocks and minerals of the crust and the mantle, but also on porous media for applied reasearch in geotechnics (cement, rock-cement interface, etc.).

This platform is divided into three components:

  • The ICARE laboratory, located at the « Maison des Sciences de l’Eau » (Building 40) focused on fluid-rock interactions, and aim to reproduce the flows of different types of reactive fluids (liquid and gas) - in rock samples or geomaterials (e.g. cement) under pressure and temperature conditions relavant of the sub-surface to the geothermal systems (i.e., 30 MPa and 300 ° C). Applications include the geological storage of CO2, alteration of cements and clay, extraction mechanisms of shale gas, the remediation of leaking underground tanks, geothermy and hydrothermalprocesses including geo-gas production and serpentinization. The laboratory also includes various analytical equipment such as porosity measurements of permeability of water or air, analysis by gas chromatography and Raman spectrometry. The laboratory maintains a significant level of technological innovation and is among the best in the world. The experimental part is completed by micro-tomographic image analysis (image processing platform) and scientific computing for the modeling of thermo-hydro-chemical processes (with a dedicated cluster). Funding is mainly done through collaborative research grant from France (ANR) and Europe (e.g. notably FP7 ITN ABYSS) or from direct collaborations with industrial and national or international research centers.
  • The EBSD Service is dedicated to the physical characterization of materials. It is located on the ground floor of Building 24, as part of the electron microscopy common facility of UM. This world-renowned service includes two scanning electron microscopes dedicated to the measurement of crystallographic orientations (JEOL JSM 5600 SEM and CamScan X500FE CrystalProbe). They are both equipped with an EBSD system and an EDS detector, cooling plates, and a heating plate for in situ testing in the case of CamScan Crystal Probe. The processes studied are those of magmatic or ductile deformation and recrystallization via the measurement of lattice preferred orientations in rocks from the mantle and crust, but also in ice, ceramics and metals. The acquisition of the microscope CamScan X500FE CrystalProbe in 2008 was jointly funded by the CNRS-INSU, Region Languedoc-Roussillon and the Ministère de la Recherche and the experimental developments, by research grants (ANR CrystalTex, ANR DREAM). The CrystalProbe is a national instrument of CNRS-INSU, but the functioning of the service is largely funded by paid analyses, with different prices for academia and private sector users.
  • The High Pressure Laboratory, located in the basement of Building 22, is dedicated to the experimental quantification of the physical properties of rocks and minerals of the mantle and the crust, such as thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, acoustic velocities, permeability and porosity of the rocks or other natural materials (i.e., altered icelandic basalts or some exotic Australian corals), ductile rheology and semi brittle friction processes or ionic diffusion in static or dynamic conditions. The most recent technological developments is an home made fluid injection system with pore pressure controlled. The studies are done at atmospheric pressure initially (i.e., home made prototypes), but experiments are especially run at high pressure and high temperature using a press Paterson (gas vessel). The fundings are from research grant (INSU projects, FP7 HITI, IMAGE, H2020 ITN CREEP, IRG Marie Curie POEM, ANR INDIGO).