Understanding fracture and flow of rock

The primary goal of the research carried out at the HPT laboratory is to develop quantitative descriptions of the deformation behaviour and transport properties of rock materials. These descriptions are based on the underlying physical and chemical processes operating at the microscale.


Our results provide fundamental data on rock properties and deformation mechanisms. These data are necessary for understanding and modelling a wide range of large-scale geological and geodynamical processes. Examples of such processes include seismic activity, deformation of the crust and entrapment of oil and gas. A major part of the group’s research is also directed at determining the response of crustal rock systems to human activities, notably to the storage of CO2 and radioactive waste.

Research themes

Our research can be subdivided into the following broad topics: