Dr Laurence North

Marine Geoscience
+44 (0)23 8059 6536

I specialise in the metrology of geological materials. I design and construct much of the novel instrumentation used for rock physics metrology at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. I recently received the prestigious EAGE Loránd Eötvös award for my work on the measurement of electrical anisotropy in rocks. http://noc.ac.uk/news/discovery-new-rock-property-earns-prize.


Receiving the Loránd Eötvös award from Philip Ringrose, President EAGE.


My current and recent research activity includes:

The NOC Pulse Tube

The NOC has recently installed an acoustic pulse tube to measure the velocity and attenuation of sediment samples over the frequency range of 1-10 kHz. My contribution to this project has been the developed much of the acoustic instrumentation and the digital signal processing algorithms used to measure sediment properties.

The NOC pulse tube.


The measurement of electrical anisotropy in rocks

To support and advance understanding of resistivity anisotropy at the rock-fabric scale we have developed a system able to measure anisotropic resistivity in single, 50 mm diameter, core samples in the controlled conditions of a laboratory. The measurements are unbiased by sample orientation and the system provides the full 9 component resistivity tensor without assuming a specific anisotropy symmetry. Furthermore, we are able to achieve this under geologically representative conditions of up to 60 MPa effective pressure and controlled temperature while simultaneously measuring elastic wave velocity and attenuation.

Related Conference Papers:

L.J. North,  A.I. Best and J. Sothcott . Pressure Sensitivity of the Joint Elastic-electrical Properties of Carbonate Reservoir Rocks. 74th EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2012

L.J. North,  A.I. Best and J. Sothcott . Pressure Dependent Electrical Resistivity Anisotropy in Carbonate Reservoir Rocks. 74th EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2012

L.J. North,  A.I. Best,  J. Sothcott and L. MacGregor. Laboratory Measurements of Electrical Resistivity Heterogeneity and Anisotropy in Carbonate Reservoir Rocks. 73rd EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2011


Investigating the controls on anisotropy in sedimentary rocks using Finite Element Models

A finite element model of an in-silico, balistically deposited grain-pack showing the current paths between faces of the cubic sample. The current paths were found using a fast marching algorithm and help explain the anisotropy observed in the grain pack:  

L.J. North,  A.I. Best,  J. Sothcott and G. Marketos. Compaction Induced Electrical Anisotropy in Sandstones. 75th EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2013 DOI: 10.3997/2214-4609.20130349

Seafloor greenhouse gas

NERC standard grant, Geophysical quantification of seafloor greenhouse gas: the effect of gas bubble and hydrate morphology on sediment geophysical properties. Measuring the the 1-10KHz acoustic velocity and attenuation and electrical resistivity of gas hydrate bearing sediments.

Turbidity Current Measurement

NERC oil and gas catalyst grant How do turbidity currents interact with man-made structures? A novel Electric Resistivity Tomography approach. Imaging the concentration gradient in turbidity currents using electric impedance tomography.

Carbon Capture And Storage

EPSRC DiSECCS project, Carbon Capture and Storage, monitoring supercritical fluid flow and homogeneity in core sample using electric impedance tomography.

Marine CSEM

DASI, refurbishment of the DASI Controlled Source ElectroMagnetic ultra -low frequency marine radio transmitter.




Falcon-Suarez, Ismael; Canal-Vila, Jacobo; Delgado-Martin, Jordi; North, Laurence; Best, Angus. 2017 Characterisation and multifaceted anisotropy assessment of Corvio sandstone for geological CO2 storage studies. Geophysical Prospecting, 65 (5). 1293-1311.10.1111/1365-2478.12469
Falcon Suarez, Ismael; Marin Moreno, Hector; Browning, Fraser; Lichtschlag, Anna; Robert, Katleen; North, Laurence J.; Best, Angus I.. 2017 Experimental assessment of pore fluid distribution and geomechanical changes in saline sandstone reservoirs during and after CO2 injection. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 63. 356-369.10.1016/j.ijggc.2017.06.019
Falcon Suarez, Ismael; Bayrakci, Gaye; Minshull, Tim A.; North, Laurence J.; Best, Angus I.; Rouméjon, Stéphane; IODP Expedition 357 Science Party, .. 2017 Elastic and electrical properties and permeability of serpentinites from Atlantis Massif, Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Geophysical Journal International. 10.1093/gji/ggx341 (In Press)
Falcon-Suarez, Ismael; North, Laurence; Amalokwu, Kelvin; Best, Angus. 2016 Integrated geophysical and hydromechanical assessment for CO2 storage: shallow low permeable reservoir sandstones. Geophysical Prospecting, 64 (4). 828-847.10.1111/1365-2478.12396
North, Laurence J.; Best, Angus I.. 2014 Anomalous electrical resistivity anisotropy in clean reservoir sandstones. Geophysical Prospecting, 62 (6). 1315-1326.10.1111/1365-2478.12183
Falcon-Suarez, Ismael; North, Laurence; Best, Angus. 2014 Experimental rig to improve the geophysical and geomechanical understanding of CO2 reservoirs. Energy Procedia, 59. 75-81.10.1016/j.egypro.2014.10.351

Book section

Clare, M.A.; Cartigny, M.J.B.; North, L.J.; Talling, P.J.; Vardy, M.E.; Hizzett, J.L.; Sumner, E.J.; Hughes Clarke, J.E.; Spinewine, B.. 2015 Quantification of near-bed dense layers and implications for seafloor structures: new insights into the most hazardous aspects of turbidity currents. In:Offshore Technology Conference 2015. Richardson, Texas, OnePetro/Society of Petroleum Engineers, OTC-25705-MS, 16pp.


Best, A.I.; North, L.J.; Sothcott, J.; Sinha, M.C.. 2013 Upscaling of elastic wave and electrical properties of reservoir rocks (Commercial in Confidence). Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 68pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 29) (Unpublished)

Electronic output

North, Laurence; Best, Angus; Sothcott, Jeremy. Joint elastic-electrical rock physics properties dataset: a laboratory study. [Output (Electronic)]