Laboratoire de Déformation des Roches


The Laboratoire de Déformation des Roches (LDR) is located at the École et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre (EOST), Université de Strasbourg. The LDR, part of the Géophysique Expérimentale team, houses a variety of purpose-built equipment designed to investigate the deformation behaviour and fluid flow properties of the Earth's crust. 

The LDR Team

Thierry Reuschlé Patrick Baud
Thierry Reuschlé Patrick Baud

Chargé de recherche CNRS


Mike Heap  
Mike Heap  
Maître de conférences  

What we do

Sample preparation

Sample characterisation

Water and gas porosity

Using our vacuum setup, we can accurately determine double and triple weight water porosity. 

We can also measure gas porosity via helium pycnometry.

Our samples are kept dry in a vacuum oven set at 40 °C.
Water and gas permeability
  We have a range of custom-built permeameters, which can operate up to confining pressures of 50 MPa on samples 20 mm in diameter and 40 mm in length. We are able to measure (distilled) water or gas permeability using steady-state or the transient (pulse-decay) methods.  For longstanding applications, our long-term permeameters are capable of measuring the permeability of rocks under very stable environmental (pressure and temperature) conditions. The operating temperature can be set as high as 200 °C.
Ultrasonic wave velocities Specific surface area
 Our benchtop acoustic wave velocity setup is designed to measure both P- and S- wave velocities on rock core samples. We also measure attenuation. A load cell embedded in the base of the jig ensures that we applied the same load from measurement to measurement  Our BET (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller) absorption apparatus measures the specific surface area of rocks, by monitoring the physical adsorption of nitrogen or krypton gas molecules onto the solid inner surface of rocks.

Sample deformation

Uniaxial deformation

Our servo-controlled uniaxial deformation apparatus can deform rock samples under a variety of loading (constant strain rate, constant stress) and environmental (dry and wet) conditions up to axial stresses of 160 MPa (for the standard sample size of 20 mm diameter).   We routinely measure stress, axial strain, and the output of acoustic emission energy during experimentation. However, the setup can be easily modified to measure ultrasonic velocities, radial strain, and electrical conductivity during deformation.
A second uniaxial deformation rig has been customised so as to deform samples at high temperatures (< 1000 °C). It also has been outfitted with sensors to monitor acoustic emissions during deformation/heating with a low noise threshold, and elastic wave velocity measurements during deformation/heating.    

Triaxial deformation



Our high-temperature/high-pressure triaxial deformation rig can deform materials at up to 350 MPa at a temperature of a couple of hundred degrees.

Our conventional servo-controlled triaxial deformation apparatus is capable of reaching confining and pore fluid pressures of 200 MPa, and differential stresses up to 400 MPa. Rock samples (20 mm in diameter by 40 mm in length) can be deformed under a variety of different loading conditions (hydrostatic, constant strain rate, constant stress) whilst continuously monitoring stress, axial strain, pore volume change, the output of acoustic emission energy, and permeability (gas or water).  

Research opportunities

We are always interested in collaborators, and those interested in studying for a Ph.D or applying for a European or International Research Fellowship in our lab. Don't hesitate to contact us!



Website maintained by M. Heap