Mudrock Systems Research Laboratory (MSRL)


What's New!

Annual Meeting
2020 Annual Meeting
April 7th through 10th

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. Toti Larson, Interim Principal Investigator, Email:, Phone: (512) 471-1856
Dr. Farzam Javadpour, Research Scientist, Email:, Phone: (512) 232-8068