University of Texas at Austin

Mudrock Systems Research Laboratory (MSRL)

What's New!

The 2019 MSRL Annual meeting will be held Monday, April 1st (no fooling) through Thursday, April 4th.
March 10, 2019

Integrated, multi-scale, and multidisciplinary research in mudrock systems.

Key research elements include:

  • Sedimentology: facies character, distribution and their controls
  • Stratigraphy: regional and reservoir-scale facies architecture
  • Diagenesis: clay and silica diagenesis, compaction, cementation, and fracturing
  • Pore systems: pore size, shape and type, pore abundance, and spatial distribution
  • Petrophysics: porosity, permeability, relative permeability, and wireline log calibration and upscaling
  • Organic geochemistry: kerogen type and distribution
  • Inorganic geochemistry: chemostratigraphy, depositional and diagenetic controls on elemental composition
  • Hydrocarbon chemistry: origin, storage, distribution, saturation, and flow
  • Fluid flow: pore-scale modeling and upscaling, micro-scale dynamic imaging
  • Rock physics: controls on variations in rock strength
  • Engineering: analysis of completion practices, and their relation to rock attributes

Research Methods and Instrument Capability:

  • Nano-pore analysis: field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), cross-sectional and broad beam Ar-ion milling, atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • Elemental and mineralogical composition: FE-SEM, cathodoluminescence, X-ray mapping, and light microscopy; electron microprobe, XRD, XRF, stable isotope analysis
  • Fluid-flow modeling: AFM
  • Multi-scale imaging: SEM, FIB-SEM, nano-CT, micro-CT
  • Laboratory measurement on mudrock petrophysics: porosity, permeability, relative permeability, wettability, using customized or standard instruments
  • Geochemical characterization: Rock-Eval pyrolysis, GC, GC-MS, stable carbon isotope (δ13C), biomarker, SARA, vitrinite and bitumen reflectance, kerogen analysis
  • Attribute distribution: integrated outcrop, core, and geophysical analysis, X-ray CT
  • Rock mechanics and fractures: integrated core study and basin history modeling

For more information, please contact
Dr. Stephen Ruppel, Senior Research Scientist, Email:, Phone: (512) 471-2965
Dr. Farzam Javadpour, Research Scientist, Email:, Phone: (512) 232-8068