Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
The Geosciences Measurement Facility (GMF) includes electronic and mechanical technicians and shop facilities, field support vehicles, (including wireline and recording trucks), and a three borehole test facility.
Photo by: Roy Kaltschmidt
The Geosciences Measurement Facility (GMF) includes electronic and mechanical technicians and shop facilities, field support vehicles, (including wireline and recording trucks), and a borehole test facility.

Geosciences Measurement Facility (GMF)

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Berkeley Lab's Earth Sciences Division field work at the subsurface, atmosphere, and ocean is supported by the Geosciences Measurement Facility (GMF), a DOE-supported facility designed to develop and maintain a variety of geophysical and geoscience instrumentation and measurement equipment. For example, research on piezoelectric sources and borehole sensor arrays, as well as high-frequency seismic recording, has been supported by GMF for over 10 years. The GMF is the focal point for an extensive inventory of complex scientific equipment used for Berkeley Lab projects, with responsibility for the maintenance, upgrading, training, and field operations of this hard ware. The GMF will allow for management of the full complement of sophisticated field instrumentation and associated support vehicles necessary to test and develop a piezoelectric multisource phased array. The GMF maintains a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary field instrumentation facility in support of various environmental, geophysical, and hydrogeological research programs at Berkeley Lab. This facility also assists in development of new instrumentation and field methods for investigating the subsurface and its processes by providing professional in-field technical support for scientific staff and management of the complex and varied field studies required in scientific research programs. The GMF includes electronic and mechanical engineers as well as technicians, shop facilities, field support vehicles (including wireline and recording trucks), and a three borehole test facility.

Field Support Facilities

The GMF is located at Berkeley Lab in Building 64 and operates under a high bay area and holds a machine shop, an electronics instrumentation work area, and testing facilities. The shipping and loading docks areas are wide enough to accomodate our vehicles and field equipment. There are two 60 foot steel cased test wells inside the GMF facilities for instrumentation testing and development (with 10-foot spacing). In addition, the GMF facilities also operate at a second location in partnership with the University of California's Richmond Field Station utilizing its test facilities with 13 wells in a 100 meter array, PVC and steel casing. Both locations require prior approval or escort before accessing the facilities and equipment. Required training may apply depending on your scope of work within this facility.

High Bay

  • 2600 square feet of high bay facilities which supports field assembly and staging for all field experiments.

Machine Shop

Electronics Area

Electronics Area

Lay-Down and Storage Space

  • 20,000 square feet of outside lay-down and storage space.


  • 4X4 crew cab pickup with heavy duty all terrain tires and pipe rack

  • 4X4 SUV with heavy duty all terrain tires

  • Wireline trucks
    • 1 ea. 16000 ft. 7/16" high temp 7 conductor cable
    • 1 ea. 3500 ft. coax (for 7-C)
    • 1 ea. Large Diameter Cable Truck with Dynacon draw works with 10,000 ft. of 1.120" cable, (13 16 ga, 3 twisted shielded pair, and three single mode fiber optic elements) 
    • F-700 Recording Dog house trucks (2ea.)Wireline truck
    • 60 kw diesel generator with Controller
    • 25 kw diesel Generator (2 ea)
    • 6 ea. Field Site Instrument Containers for long-term instrumentation
    • Offshore instrument container


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Borehole Seismic Equipment

  • Sources:
    • Various piezoelectric seismic sources (~1" to ~4" diameter)
    • 4 High Voltage piezoelectric computer controllable IGBT source amplifiers
    • DC Dual Motor Rotary Sources with Power Supply and Control Panel (2 ea.) (400 hz)
    • DC High-frequency rotary source (800 hz)
    • 2 each CASSM mutisource piezoelectric source controllers
  • Sensors:
    • 16 Level Hydrophone String (5 ft. intervals)
    • 10 sensor hydrophone string @1/4 m with 500 ft. cable
    • 24 level hydrophone string with 1 meter spacing 15 to 50 meter lead (adjustable for single well imaging)
    • 24 level hydrophone string with 1/2 meter spacing 100 meter lead
    • 8-sensor hydrophone string @1 m with 250 ft. cable
    • 6-sensor hydrophone string @2 m with 250 ft. cable
    • 6 sensor hydrophone string @4 m wireline connector
    • 2 Hydraulic, high-temperature wall-locking 3-component geophones
    • 100 Hz geophones (50 ea) with 1.2 m takeout cable
    • 3 Component surface Geophones (125 ea) with cables (for Bison)
  • Recording Systems:
    • OYO DAS-2, 48 channel, 1/8 millisecond, 24 bit with fiber optic capability
    • OYO GeoRes, 96 Channels , up to 1/8 millisec sampling, 24 bit capability
    • OYO 24 channel downhole 24 bit , 1/8 mil, digitizer with fiber optic data transmission
    • 16 element digital array, triggered microseismic system with RC Electronics
    • hardware/software ( 500 sam/sec, per three channel, total 48 channel)
    • 18 each Reftek model 130, 6-channel
    • 54 each Nanometrics Taurus/Janus seismic digitizers
    • 3 each Geometrics 24 channels at 24 bits, 48 kHz sampling

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Other Geoscience Equipment

  • 2 HP Digital Survey System
  • Multiple portable Radios
  • Downhole Pumps for pump/flow tests
  • EM and DC recording systems
  • Multiple pressure transducers and multi level packers for hydrology tests
  • GOES satellite stations
  • Downhole High Temperature (350C) Fluid Sampler with downhole electronics
  • 2 Pfeiffer Omnistar portable mass spectrometers

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Contact Us and Access Restrictions

The GMF is open during general business hours when the staff are not on travel. For after hours access to the GMF, supervisors should send an email  with the ID number of the individual requiring access, to the following points of contact:

Contact UsTo utilize the GMF, please contact the following individuals to discuss your needs, access restrictions, and training requirements.
  • Michelle Robertson, Geosciences Measurement Facility, Project Scientist,, (510) 486-5096
  • Ernie Majer, Geosciences Measurement Facility Labspace Lead PI,, (510) 486-6709