EPOS-NL provides scientific, financial and technical support for (inter)national researchers to use high-end research facilities. Access to some facilities is possible but limited. Pending developments in COVID-19 restrictions, we aim to make facility access fully available by 2021
Earth Simulation Lab (ESL)
The Earth Simulation Lab (ESL) at Utrecht University is a unique, large-scale facility with unprecedented capabilities for multi-scale research into the physical behaviour of the Earth’s crust: fully coupled reservoir analogue models, new generation rock mechanics experiments under true crustal conditions, fluid flow experiments and state-of-the-art rock sample 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: the High Pressure and Temperature (HPT) lab and the Tectonics (Tec-)lab.
The Tectonic modelling laboratory (TecLab) uses ‘scaled analogue models’ to better understand kilometer-scale, tectonic deformation processes, such as the breakup of the Earth’s crust or the formation of mountain ranges. An analogue model is typically 50x50x20 cm in size and consists of a stack of layers of materials with different flow behavior. Together, these layers represent the various multi-km thick rock layers that form the Earth’s crust and upper mantle. Tectonic deformation is simulated by slowly pushing or pulling one of the walls bounding the analogue model. Tracking deformation through time is achieved in 2D by taking repeated snapshots of the model surface, or in 3D, using Laser Vibrometry and/or X-ray tomography.
The High Pressure and Temperature (HPT) laboratory conducts research on the mechanical behaviour and transport properties of Earth materials at conditions pertaining to the crust and upper mantle. It is equipped with apparatus for deformation at high stress, pressure and temperature, high temperature furnaces and apparatus for thermal, microstructural and IR analysis. A few highlights:
- Triaxial apparatus for axial compression, whether at constant confining pressure, or constant radial strain conditions.
- Ring-shear deformation rig, including acoustic sensor system.
- Permeability measurements under crustal temperature/pressure conditions.
MINT (Multi-scale Imaging and Tomography Facility)
MINT (Multi-scale Imaging and Tomography Facility) is a distributed facility hosted partly at TU Delft and partly at Utrecht University. It consists of a cluster of instruments to visualise and correlate 2D and 3D structures of rock samples at scales spanning nine orders of magnitude, from nanometers (e.g.nanopores) to meters (e.g. drill core).
The instruments available for access through EPOS-NL include:
- An X-ray computed tomography scanner for 3D scanning of large samples
- X-ray computed tomography scanners for 3D imaging at sub-µm resolution
- An optical thin section scanner
- A Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
- A Field Emission SEM, suitable for imaging under cryogenic conditions
- An Environmental electron microscope, including Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy/X-ray detectors.
- An analytical Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM).
At the European level, MINT and ESL contributes research data and facility access to the EPOS Thematic Core Service: “Multi-scale labs”.
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.
At the European level, DAPwell will contribute research data to the EPOS Thematic Core Service: “Geo-energy test beds for low carbon energy”.
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
- TEMPOS thermal properties analyser
At the European level, DPL contributes research data and facility access to the EPOS Thematic Core Service: “Multi-scale labs”.
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.
At the European level, ORFEUS is one of the key infrastructures on which the EPOS Thematic Core Service “Seismology” is being built.