Mel Friedman Petrofabrics Laboratory

The Mel Friedman Petrofabrics Laboratory is dedicated to the study of deformation textures of naturally and experimentally deformed rocks. The laboratory houses a Zeiss Axioimager A1 Advanced upright research microscope that is equipped with an Axiocam HR and AxioVision4 software for high resolution digital imaging. The laboratory also houses five additional research-quality microscopes, and three older Leitz microscopes dedicated to universal stage applications. A heated deformation stage is available for the microscopes to study intracrystalline plastic deformation and recovery processes in situ. In addition, the lab houses a Chapman 40-cm clear field and photoelastic 30-cm diffused light source polariscopes, several straining frames, and hydraulic loading devices that are used to investigate the nature of stress concentrations associated with flaws and geometric irregularities. Equipment for sample cutting, preparation, and polishing is available in a neighboring laboratory. The facilities in the Mel Friedman laboratory support teaching and research activities in the Center for Tectonophysics, and in particular plays a key role in the laboratory component of GEOL 665 (Structural Petrology), a core-curriculum course for the Center for Tectonophysics and for the Petroleum Certificate program.

Other facilities available for structure and petrology studies:

  • A neighboring laboratory with a variety of sample preparation, cutting and polishing facilities.
  • Nicolet infra-red (FTIR) spectrometer for trace water analyses.
  • Gatan dual ion-milling device for preparation of specimens for electron microscopy.
  • A four-spectrometer Cameca SX50 electron microprobe and SEM equipped with a PGT energy dispersive system and a dedicated Sun workstation and a Rigaku computerized x-ray diffractometer are available in the Depatment of Geology & Geophysics.
  • High resolution SEM, TEM and atomic force microscope facilities are available at Texas A&M Electron Microscopy Center.