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Earth and Resource System

In the 21st century, the problems related to 'human beings and the earth', such as shortage of natural resources and energy, pollution of the environment and natural disaster, are getting extremely serious.

In addition, detailed knowledge on geology is vital in recent civil engineering for large-scale and cost-effective social infrastructures.

Engineering geology is, therefore, playing a major role, as a tool to solve such various problems related to 'human beings and the earth'.

Our laboratory of engineering geology is conducting research in various fields; exploration / development of natural resources and energy, preservation of the environment, disaster prevention and civil engineering.

Academic Staff

Weiren LIN

Weiren LINProfessor (Graduate School of Engineering)

Research Topics

In order to understand mechanisms of coseismic rupturing of earthquake faults, to characterize reservoirs of petroleum, natural gas and methane hydrate, as well as to ensure safety of carbon capture storage (CCS) and high level radioactive waste disposal, I am carrying out experimental geomechanics and prtrophysics research in an interdisciplinary area between geoscience and geoengineering. My main research topics are: 1) evolution of in situ stress in deep formation and rock masses by measuring anelastic strain recovery (ASR) of drill core samples and analyzing logging data from deep drillings, 2) measurements of rock physical properties under high pressure and high temperature condition, and 3) developments of measurement method of in situ stress and rock physical properties.


Room 109, C cluster 1, Katsura Campus
TEL: +81-75-383-3201
FAX: +81-75-383-3203
E-mail: lin@kumst.kyoto-u.ac.jp / hayashi.tameto.6s@kyoto-u.ac.jp

Sumihiko MURATA

Sumihiko MURATAAssociate Professor (Graduate School of Engineering)

Research Topics

Fossil energy resources, such as oil and natural gas, and various mineral resources are necessary for current our life. Therefore, the technologies and engineering methods to develop these natural resources eco-friendly and supply them sustainably are desired.

My research themes are as follows: 1) Development of efficient and eco-friendly enhanced oil and gas technology (EOGR), 2) Enhancement of carbon capture and storage (CCS) especially for carbon dioxide whose origin is fossil energy resources, 3) Development of eco-friendly mining technology such as the reduction of blasting vibration and infrasound, stabilization of the large-scale rock slope by mining, and mine reclamation.


Room 108, C cluster 1, Katsura Campus
TEL: +81-75-383-3204
FAX: +81-75-383-3203
E-mail: murata.sumihiko.6v@kyoto-u.ac.jp


Assistant Professor (Graduate School of Engineering)


Room 110, C cluster 1, Katsura Campus
TEL: +81-75-383-3202
FAX: +81-75-383-3203
E-mail: ishitsuka.kazuya.4w@kyoto-u.ac.jp

Research Topics

3D visualization of geophysical data

Exploration geophysics and related information processing technology have been developed for exploration of natural resources. The aims of these techniques are to understand detailed geometry of subsurface structure, to combine the data with other information, and to extract useful information.

In order to obtain clear picture of geological information, 3D visualization technology needs to be developed.

Here we present our research on '3D visualization of airborne electromagnetic data using GIS'. Airborne electromagnetic survey is to understand 3D geometry of subsurface geological structures. The data can also be used for civil engineering and environmental engineering.

Figure 1  Airborne electromagnetic survey

Figure 2  3D visualization of airborne electromagnetic data

The colour pattern of the Fig.2 reflects weathering of soils and its thickness, thus can be applied to disaster prevention of the area when combined with GIS data including geography.

Exploration of offshore hydrocarbon resources

In the 21st century, shortage of natural resources and energy is getting extremely serious. In particular, oil fields are concentrated in limited areas, thus its price is sensitive to politics and economy. It is therefore important to explore non-oil energy sources.

Methane hydrate (MH) is a new possible natural resource. MH has been found in permafrost and in unconsolidated sediments of ocean floor, and its major distribution is identified in Nankai area. Seismic survey is generally useful to explore the offshore MH distribution.

Fig.3 shows characteristic Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs), which suggest MH and its accompanying free gas (FG) layers.

We are conducting special research focused on MH exploration and estimation of reserves by using AVO(Amplitude Versus Offset) analysis.

Figure 3  Characteristic Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) suggesting MH and its accompanying free gas (FG) layers

Slope stability of soft rocks

Soft rocks have special characters including low strength, large ductility, and easy degradation due to natural environment.

We are conducting research on understanding of soft rock characteristics and prevention of degradation. Here we present research on slabbing.

Slabbing is a type of mass wasting with a curved detachment surface due to erosion and degradation in a soft rock slope which initially does not include any discontinuity surfaces.

Slabbing commonly occurs where a high angle (over 60 degrees) slope is constructed in a soft rock. However, slabbing has not been widely recognized in Japan, and the phenomena has been regarded due to pre-existing discontinuity surfaces.

The collapse of Toyohama tunnel in 1996 could be an example of slabbing.

We are conducting research on slabbing mechanisms and also field survey to investigate the mass wasting in Japan.

Figure 4  FEM simulation of slabbing

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