Rock Physics and Mechanics Laboratory


The Rock Physics and Mechanics Laboratory (RPML) at ETH Zurich conducts research on the mechanical behavior and transport properties of Earth materials at conditions pertaining to the Earth’s crust and upper mantle.  The RPML is working on a range of problems, including rock deformation, rock physics, elastic wave properties of rocks, volcano-tectonics, coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical process in Earth’s crust, and deep reservoir characterisation.  The lab is a Departmental facility overseen by Claudio Madonna and Whitney Behr.

Deformation Rigs

The laboratory is equipped with a wide range of facilities, which can reproduce pressure and temperature conditions relevant to the Earth’s crust and upper mantle. We primarily perform experiments at high pressures (Up to 500 MPa) and temperatures (Up to 1500 K) in two gas medium pressure vessels, designed and built by Mervyn Paterson. Deformation apparatus that will be used by the Structure Tectonics Group include the following:

  • Paterson 6
  • Paterson 9
  • Griggs Rig
  • Hot Isostatic Press
  • High pressure and temperature deformation apparatus (coming soon)

For more information, check out the dedicated Rock Physics and Mechanics Laboratory website!