Rustrel, France


LSBB (FR7.6)

Laboratoire Souterrain à Bas-Bruit

ECP4D-LSBB: 5 cored boreholes of 21 m depth drilled from a gallery buried 250 m below the surface are dedicated to the study of thermo-hydro-mechanical processes. They form a R&D platform dedicated to the experimentation and characterization of poroelastic and fracture properties of rocks, to the development of methodology and instrumental tests for monitoring and characterizing effects induced by the injection of fluid or gas within the medium (water, CO2, compressed air).

The vicinity of the wells enables cross-boreholes experiments. The instrumentation of these wells is entirely under the responsibility of the users. These wells will be accessible through ECCSEL one month a year in order to be equipped and for measurements, tests or experiments. These operations will use a reversible and monitored excitation of the medium respecting the low background noise and of the physical environment.

Other prolonged periods could be opened for measurements, tests or experiments outside of the dedicated ECCSEL period. The related activities could be developed on the borehole platform itself and also in other locations of the LSBB facility ensuring that no disturbance of the low background noise would be generated. These periods will be the subject of a partnership agreement and specific financial conditions. The proposals in the ECCSEL framework and during the extended periods will be endorsed in advance by the Management Committee of the LSBB on presentation of the activity proposal describing the principles of the proposed experience and its potential impact for the environment and for the low noise background of LSBB.

Other locations at LSBB facility are accessible and can be used for experiments, depending on the LSBB planning and on the agreement of LSBB Management Committee.

State of the Art, uniqueness & specific advantages

The geological and hydro-geological environment and the exceptional features of the original military design of the LSBB underground research laboratory, allow the development of interdisciplinary research, development and innovation at European and international scales.

The LSBB URL enjoys a unique environment in the Luberon Regional Natural Park with a very low anthropogenic background noise, valuable for highly sensitive activities within:

  • The shallow and deep unsaturated part of the critical zone of the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse (FDV) aquifer, France, (Fig. 1a & 1b),

  • A carbonate platform with Urgonian facies similar to the major oil-bearing carbonate reservoirs in the Middle East, (Fig. 1b & 1c),

  • The major seismogenic area of Provence.

Scientific Environment

The physical characteristics of LSBB are as follows: (i) an underground and surface physical infrastructure, with a multi-kilometer sub-horizontal underground access, and a surface access allowing three-dimensional, multi-scale surface and bottom experimental configurations, with a cover thickness varying from a few m to more than 500 m, (ii) a geological and hydrogeological environment, representative of many aquifers around the Mediterranean where karst is often the water tower of the surrounding plains, (iii) a low-noise environment, at the bottom and on the surface, more than 20 km away from heavily anthropized, industrialized areas and heavy traffic routes, preserved from major sources of mechanical and acoustic noise and pollution in the Luberon Regional Natural Park, in the heart of one of the last areas of great electromagnetic calm on the scale of the Vaucluse mountains. The LSBB offers, in a few words, original three-dimensional and multi-scale geometric configurations, straight underground axes up to 1250 m long, bare boreholes in underground and surface boreholes, and electromagnetically insulated or shielded underground rooms and volumes from 50 m3 to more than 1250 m3 from the surface to 518 m deep and between ~490 m and ~1010 m in altitude.

Finally but essential, the LSBB engineer team is a powerful help for the optimal integration of activities within the facility

Operating by


Centre national de la recherche scientifique
STORAGE technologies:
Pressure/injection, Migration, Microseismicity, Reactivity/mineralisation, Monitoring
Research Fields:
Fluid dynamics, Chemistry/Geochemistry, Microbiology, Ecosystem, Geology/Geophysics, Monitoring, Modelling, Physical processes

Location & Contacts

Rustrel, France
Stéphane Gaffet
RICC Contacts - Secondary contact
Sébastien Dupraz

Facility Availability

Availability per year (in UA)
5 UA– 25 UA max
Duration of a typical access (average) and number of external users expected for that access
5 UA

Quality Control / Quality Assurance (QA)

Activities / tests / data are:
Controlled: There are no specific QA procedure available for that facility.

Operational or other constraints

Specific risks:
Depend on the activity proposed. Identification and mitigation of risk are discussed with the Management Committee of LSBB facility. The activities requesting to join the LSBB are regulated by the LSBB Management Committee via an experience proposal form and according to 2 main criteria: (i) absolute respect of the physical and low-noise environment of the LSBB, and (ii) adequacy of the experiment with the LSBB's load schedule and with the experiments already in place or planned.
Legal issues:
Prior to be developped at LSBB, any activity is submitted to a contractual commitment in the form of a contract or agreement signed with CNRS/DR12.

CCUS Projects

Other CCUS Projects


Procédé et dispositif de détermination de la densité de volumes rocheux ou d’édifices artificiels

Selected Publications

Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering volume 53, pages4313–4328 (2020)
In Situ Direct Displacement Information on Fault Reactivation During Fluid Injection
Kakurina M., Y. Guglielmi, C. Nussbaum, and B. Valley
Science Advances 13 Vol. 5, no. 3, eaau4065 (2019)
Stabilization of fault slip by fluid injection in the laboratory and in situ
Cappa F., M.M. Scuderi, C. Collettini, Y. Guglielmi, and J.-P. Avouac
Scientific Reports 9, 4999 (2019)
Energy of injection-induced seismicity predicted from in-situ experiments
De Barros L., F. Cappa, Y. Guglielmi, L. Duboeuf, and J.-R. Grasso
Geophys. Res. Lett. 42 (2015)
Seismic responses to fluid pressure perturbations in a slipping fault
Derode B., Y. Guglielmi, L. De Barros, and F. Cappa
Science 348, 1224-1226 (2015)
Seismicity triggered by fluid injection-induced aseismic slip
Guglielmi Y, F. Cappa, J.-P. Avouac, P. Henry, and D. Elsworth
Fluid Dynamics in Complex Fractured-Porous Systems” edited by Boris Faybishenko, Sally M. Benson, John E. Gale – John Wiley & Sons, 15 juin , 264pp ISBN: 978-1-118-87720-3 (2015)
Fracture flow and underground research laboratory for nuclear waste disposal and physics experiments
Wang J.S.Y. and J.A. Hudson
COMSOL, ineris-00973682, 9pp (2014)
3D simulations of an injection test done into an unsaturated porous and fractured limestone
Thoraval A., Y. Guglielmi, and F. Cappa
International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Science 61, 266-274, doi:10.1016 (2013)
Coupled seismo-hydromechanical monitoring of inelastic effects on a fluid injected fracture permeability
Derode B., F. Cappa, Y. Guglielmi, and J. Rutqvist
Etudes Vauclusiennes n°79 ISSN 0153-9221, 57-64 (2012)
Etudes des processus hydromécaniques et de la sismicité induite par les mouvements de fluides dans les calcaires poreux et fracturés : Expériences menées au Laboratoire Souterrain de Bas Bruit (Rustre
Guglielmi Y. et F. Cappa