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Open call for free of charge Facility Access to EPOS-NL research facilities​

  • Access
  • ESL
  • MINT
  • DPL

Call open from 9 June to 16 July 2021, for proposals to get access to the ESL High Pressure and Temperature HPT) and Tectonic modelling labs at Utrecht University, the CT scanners of the Multi-scale Imaging and Tomography (MINT) facility at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and/or the Delft Petrophysics Lab at TU Delft. Depending on a) developments in Corona restrictions, b) specific lab regulations (see table below), or c) your own wishes, access may be either physical (you come over to do the analysis), or remote (you send us your sample and local researchers will perform analyses based on your remotely provided instructions).

Successful applicants receive the following services free of charge: lab/equipment use, technical support and scientific support for analyzing data for the duration of the access period. In the case of physical access, travel costs and accommodation costs up to 100 Euro/night are covered for the duration of the stay. In the case of remote access, sample shipment costs up to 100 Euro will be covered. EPOS-NL provides facility access to researchers from other institutes than the university hosting the facility. Financial support for facility access is provided through the research infrastructure EPOS-NL, which is financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Proposals for facility access can be submitted at any time between 9 June and 16 July 2021. Projects accepted under this call can start as early as 6 September 2021 and must be completed no later than 10 December (see the table below for lab-specific access periods). Before submitting a proposal, we strongly encourage applicants to contact the facility to discuss the technical feasibility of their plans and equipment availability. We would appreciate if in email enquiries you include the following standard text in the subject field: “EPOS-NL facility access inquiry” and include in Cc for all correspondence regarding facility access.

The e-mail address of the contact person per facility, the equipment available, the maximum number of days the equipment is available for and a weblink providing additional technical equipment specifications are given in the table below. For general information on Facility Access please contact us by email:

Proposal guidelines

A proposal should include a short summary (max 150 words) and the project description (max 2 pages), including:

A) Scientific background and rationale (what and why)

B) Research methodology and approach (how), including

    • Sample information
    • The type of analyses you require plus justification
    • Estimate and justification of analysis time

C)  Innovative aspects (what is new)

D) Anticipated advancement (how will the analysis benefit your research)

Proposals are assessed by an external review committee. The above points are weighed as follows: A: 40% B: 40% C: 10% D: 10%.

Facility Institute Contact Apparatus Available from- to- Max number of days accessible Mode of access
Delft University of Technology
Micro CT Scanner
6 Sep - 10 Dec
Macro CT scanner
6 Sep - 10 Dec
Delft University of Technology
Multipe triaxial deformation apparatus
6 Sep - 10 Dec
Triaxial deformation apparatus for creep tests
6 Sep - 10 Dec
Unconfined axial compression apparatus (e.g. for UCS test)
6 Sep - 10 Dec
P- and S-wave velocity determination (in triaxal app. or ambient)
6 Sep - 10 Dec
Accoustic emission (in triaxal app. or ambient)
6 Sep - 10 Dec
Direct Shear Test (normal stress < 3 MPa)
6 Sep - 10 Dec
6 Sep - 10 Dec
Utrecht University
Hydrothermal rotary shear apparatus
6 Sep - 10 Dec
Utrecht University
Analogue modelling setup (box, engine, cameras, surface scanners)
NB: CT scanner at TecLab currently NOT available.
18 Oct - 26 Nov

Earth Simulation Lab (ESL)

The Earth Simulation Lab (ESL) at Utrecht University is a unique facility with unprecedented capabilities for multi-scale research into the physical behaviour of the Earth’s crust: fully coupled reservoir analogue scale models, new generation rock mechanics experiments under true crustal conditions, fluid flow experiments and petrophysical analyses, all linked in an advanced numerical modelling facility with a focus on upscaling from the laboratory to the reservoir and field scale. Two of the main labs within the ESL are incorporated in EPOS-NL:

At the European level, ESL contributes research data and facility access to the EPOS Thematic Core Service: Multi-scale labs

MINT (Multi-scale Imaging and Tomography Facility)

The MINT (Multi-scale Imaging and Tomography) facility is a distributed facility, hosted partly at TU Delft and partly at Utrecht University. It is a cluster of instruments, that together allow visualization and correlation of 2D and 3D rock structures, at an unprecedented range in imaging scales: from nanometers (e.g.nanopores) to decimeters (e.g. drill core). Capabilities include multi-scale 3D analysis down to atomic resolution, environmental observations under liquid conditions, automated digitization of thin sections (up to 50 in one session), automated mineralogy analysis, ultra-fast crystallographic (EBSD) mapping, valence state analysis down to atomic resolution, ultra-high resolution SEM-based EDX, even for light elements such as N, C, Li and much more. EPOS-NL has contributed the following scanners to this workflow, which have been operational since summer 2020:

·       A versa X-ray scanner for µm-resolution, 3D tomography
·       A Gemini SEM for imaging and crystallographic EBSD mapping under cryogenic conditions
·       An EVO environmental electron microscope with automated mineralogy analysis
·       An Axioscan for automated, optical scanning of up to 50 sections in one run

At the European level, MINT contributes research data and facility access to the EPOS Thematic Core Service: “Multi-scale labs”.

3D X-ray tomography - Various SEM scanners - Crystallographic (EBSD) mapping - TEM imaging at nm resolution

Geothermal well at TU Delft (DAPwell)​

The Delft Aardwarmte Project (DAP)well is a geothermal well that will be installed on the TU Delft campus in 2021. DAPwell will serve as a national infrastructure for research on a natural geothermal system within an urban setting and, at the same time, as an operating geothermal facility that heats buildings on the TUD campus. The unique aspect of the facility will be the possibility to do research on an operating geothermal system, using state of the art monitoring equipment. The DAPwell research and monitoring infrastructure will be used to investigate the fundamental scientific challenges that are presently limiting the development of geothermal energy.

For more information on DAPwell and geothermal energy in Delft click here.

Delft Petrophysics Laboratory (DPL)

The Delft Petrophysics Laboratory (DPL) at TU Delft contains experimental equipment for the determination of petrophysical rock properties. Properties that can be measured include density, porosity and permeability, electrical and thermal conductivities, acoustic velocities and mechanical properties. DPL is part of the Geoscience and Engineering Laboratory at TU Delft. Highlighted instruments available for access through EPOS-NL include:

  •       Unconfined compressive strength measurement devices
  •       Triaxial apparatus
  •       Ultrasonic and passive acoustics systems
  •       He-pycnometer
  •       TEMPOS thermal properties analyser

At the European level, DPL contributes research data and facility access to the EPOS Thematic Core Service: “Multi-scale labs”.

Hoek cell with an analogue Groningen fault slip experiment, taken by Anne Pluymakers

ORFEUS Seismological data center​

The Observatories and Research Facilities for European Seismology (ORFEUS) data center, hosted at KNMI, is the European data center for broadband seismic waveform data. Nationally, ORFEUS is crucial in the monitoring and provision of data from a unique geophysical, seismic and satellite monitoring network, focusing on induced earthquakes in the Groningen gas field and natural earthquakes in the tectonically active regions of Europe.

ORFEUS (founded 1987) is one of the oldest, most mature infrastructures for seismology in Europe, together with the European-Mediterranean Seismological center (EMSC) (established in 1975) and the European facilities for Earthquake hazard and risk (EFEHR). No other community driven seismological infrastructures exists in Europe.

To access the ORFEUS data portal, click here.

Internationally, ORFEUS is one of the key infrastructures on which the larger European Integrated Data Archive (EIDA) and EPOS Thematic Core Service “Seismology” infrastructures are being built. 

Top image: ORFEUS Data Centre seismic monitoring network in the Netherlands. Note the dense monitoring cluster in the Groningen gas field, NE Netherlands. Bottom image: The ORFEUS Data Centre is one of the main pillars in the global EIDA seismic monitoring network.