Petrophysical Tools


Field deployable instruments

Our suite of field tools observe and measure seismic activity, geothermal properties, and geophysical properties of Australia’s subsurface:

  • Surface and borehole seismometer fleets for ongoing observation of seismically active regions.

  • Broadband aftershock seismometers for rapid, and often remote deployment after significant events.

  • Distributed Temperature Sensor (DTS) – an AP Sensing optic fibre and laser-based instrument for short -term geothermal measurement programs to a maximum depth of 500m. For deeper (up to 1000m) and for longer deployments, we can provide a “disposable” fibre suited to permanent installation. 

  • Geo-DTS Sensing system with integrated heating loop, for in-situ determination of temperature, conductivity and heat capacity, and is designed for application in Enhanced Geothermal Response Testing.

  • Wireline temperature logger and natural gamma tool.

  • Gravity meter (gPhone) providing crucial baseline data for geophysical studies.

  • Trimble GNSS (Global Navigation Satgellite System/GOPS) receiver for collecting GIS and survey data for a range of geospatial applications. Capable of submeter/centimeter positioning accuracy.

  • Acoustic Televiewer (ALT) for structural profiling of boreholes.

  • Surface and borehole tilt-meters (Jewell/Lily) with application in volcanic and tectonic research as well as geomechanics.

  • Atmospheric monitoring tools (by Picarro) for application in the study of CO2/CH4 sources and sinks


Laboratory-based instruments

Our petrophysical and thermal analysis tools include:

  • Our primary analytical unit – the GeoTek Multi-Sensor Core Logger (MSCL) -provides the facility of continuous measurement of drill core to deliver petrophysics parameters thus yielding key information on the rocks of the upper crust. The MSCL delivers high resolution (at up to 1cm intervals along core) data on core density, p-wave velocity, electrical resistivity, magnetic susceptibility, and natural gamma production (including full spectra if required).  More recently we have added XRF analysis & colorimetry to the MSCL’s capabilities. 

  • Additional Petrophysical Analysis Capability suited to core sections and discrete samples

  • P-wave and S-wave velocity measurement using the “Pundit-Lab” instrument.

  • Resonance Modulus Testing to provide Young’s and shear moduli as well as Poisson’s ratio for geo-mechanical assessment of rock specimens.

  • Schmidt Hammer (Type L) for measuring uniaxial compressive strength.

  • Magnetic Susceptibility/Conductivity measurements using handheld instrument.

  • Magnetic Remanence meter (Q-meter) for collecting magnetic remanence and palaeomagnetic determinations from drill core as well as field specimens.

  • Optical thermal conductivity scanner (Lippmann-Raven instrument) enabling continuous scans on lengths of drill core to determine both the variability and overall estimate of thermal conductivity of the specimen.

  • Traditional laboratory-based thermal conductivity instruments – transient source (TK04) & modified transient plane source (CTherm -TCi) for measurements on solids, fragments and powders.

  • Tenney Environmental Test Chamber enable ng thermal measurements (such as conductivity) to be undertaken at a range of variable (-700C  to +2000C) ambient temperatures comparable to crustal warming effects.



Dr. David Belton
Petrophysics Laboratory
School of Earth Sciences
University of Melbourne

The Australian School of Petroleum, DETCRC and the CO2CRC; The University of Adelaide, WA and Melbourne; NSW, SA, VIC and WA State Geological Surveys; and CSIRO and Geoscience Australia.

2006 – ongoing

Dr. David Belton