Thermal Petrophysics Lab

GFZ - German Research Centre for Geosciences
last updated: July 20, 2023

About the Laboratory

Thermal Petrophysics Lab

GFZ - German Research Centre for Geosciences
@ Section 4.8 Geoenergy
This Laboratory is part of:
  • Networks: Geo.X


  • Tbd
Visit us on our website in DE / EN


The lab is a facility maintained by research cluster "Temperature field of the Earth" of section 4.8. The lab produces data that are part of projects related to the analysis of the Earth temperature field. Thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of dry and saturated rocks are measured under ambient laboratory conditions using the optical scanning technology (Thermal conductivity scanner, TCS).

A laboratory device is in the making allowing for dry and saturated rocks measurements at pressures and temperatures that are simultaneously raised to 250 MPa and 250 °C, respectively. The device that uses a modified pulse method. For an extended analysis of high-temperature thermal properties, we collaborate with partner laboratories. This pertains to:

  • Laser-flash analysis (up to 1200 K),
  • Differential calorimeter (up to 1200 K),
  • Transient plane source techniques (up to 1200 K).

The best raw material for analysis is full core, but thermal properties can be also measured from half core or cutting samples. For the preparation of samples the GFZ facilities are employed.

We have extensive lab experience with all types of rocks (sedimentary rocks, magmatic and metamorphic rocks). Saturation of rocks is accommodated with varying fluids (air, tap water, distilled water, heptane, etc.). We also provide service measurements. For information on sample analysis and conditions and processes contact us by email.


  • Thermal Conductivity Meter
    Full-space Line Source, Half-space Line Source, Needle Probe
  • TCS - Thermal Conductivity Scanner

Analytical Methods

  • Thermal Conductivity Measurement
  • Thermal Diffusivity Measurement

Laboratory Keywords

  • Optical Scanning