Research Facilities

The Fault Dynamics Research Group has custom designed analogue modelling laboratories and computer laboratories for our collaborative research programmes. We have a full range of workstations including Unix, Linux and PC workstations for seismic interpretation and 3D visualisation; PC and Macintosh workstations for GIS, remote sensing, section balancing, 3D visualisation, numerical modelling and analysis of analogue modelling results.

We utilize the latest industry standard software as well as implementing our own programmes where needed.

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Analogue Modelling Laboratory

In 2009 – 2010 the main analogue modelling laboratory was totally refurbished and expanded with new apparatus including LAVision 3D image correlation equipment for analysis of particle displacements and strains in the scaled analogue models. Overhead rails for lights and equipment were installed as well as air-conditioning to maintain stable laboratory temperatures. In addition a ring shear apparatus was purchased for analysis of the stress-strain properties of the analogue modelling materials.

New modelling rigs for strike-slip experiments and thrust experiments were designed and built as well as new 2D rigs for extension, inversion and thrust modelling. High-resolution cameras were purchased for monitoring the experiments and new computer equipment added to the laboratory.

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3D Visualisation & Remote Sensing

The 3D visualisation facility is fully embedded in the MSc teaching laboratory, and this, together with a new PC workstation laboratory, forms a state of the art teaching and research facility.

3D visualisation of seismic data provides significant insight into the complexities of both structurally controlled as well as stratigraphically controlled hydrocarbon accumulations. At Royal Holloway we will use the new 3D visualisation laboratory to train both MSc and PhD students in these techniques using industry standard software. In addition we have on-going research programmes on the structural analysis of complex reservoirs such as those found in fold and thrust belts, rift systems and on salt tectonics as well as in 3D reconstruction and visualisation of scaled models.

The facilities allows the development of new research into complex reservoir structures, remote sensing, as well as 3D numerical modelling and visualisation. The laboratory is used for teaching GIS using ArcGIS as the industry standard software. In particular ArcView will be used for visualisation of digital elevation models (DEMs) as well as Landsat, Radar, Aster, Ikonos, and Quickbird satellite images.

The MSc courses in Remote Sensing and Advance Structural Analysis Using Remote Sensing are taught by Dr. Martin Insley of Infoterra. He has extensive experience in using 3D visualisation for structural analysis of satellite imagery for petroleum exploration and also for petroleum development.

Our Thanks:
The 3D visualisation and Computer Laboratories were generously supported by BP, Exxon-Mobil, Hess, and Shell.

Additional funds from FDRG, Department of Earth Sciences and RHUL. 3D visualisation equipment supplied by Virtalis. Software used in these laboratories has generously been provided by Landmark, Schlumberger, Paradigm, Midland Valley, Badleys, Roxar.

Numerical Modelling

In addition to the state of the art seismic interpretation and GIS workstations, the Fault Dynamics Research Group has a number of workstations specifically focussed on numerical modelling of fault and fracture systems.

Quantitative numerical modelling of fault and fracture systems in rift sytems, and in particular in fold and thrust belts, is carried out using Beasey, Poly3D and Dynel where appropriate. Numerical model results are compared to field examples as well as to seismic examples.

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