Compositional controls on physical properties: new constraints from laboratory measurements

Improve predictive models of density and thermal conductivity to improve geophysical models by making new lab measurements.

Quartz monzonite by James St. John (CC BY 2.0)

Quartz monzonite by James St. John (CC BY 2.0)

One of the limitations to developing geophysical models of the crust is minimal control on physical property determinations on rocks directly relevant to the subsurface.

As part of this project you will be measuring the physical properties on samples with known compositions from the South Australian drill core library.

The goal of this project is to develop a set of robust, compositionally based models to predict a number of physical properties including, density, thermal conductivity, and heat production.

With such models, it will be possible to estimate the distribution of physical properties in the subsurface, providing a priori constraints for gravity and heat flow investigations.

You will gain experience with petrophysical measurement techniques. You will need to develop a sampling strategy that adequately samples a wide array of rock compositions among both igneous and sedimentary rocks.

To analyse the data you will be required to learn some basic computer programming for both data analysis and data management.

This project is a collaboration between UA and the GSSA and will contribute to the MinEx CRC national drilling initiative regions by providing measured rock properties and model data to assist with geological modelling.


Tagged in Honours projects - Geology, Honours Projects - Derrick Hasterok, Honours projects - Geophysics, Honours projects - Rian Dutch