Thesis proposal on Petrophysical characterisation of deformation bands in reservoir rocks

PhD Advisors : Prof. Charles Aubourg (UPPA, France, charles.aubourg@univ-pau.fr),  Dr. Nicolas Beaudoin (UPPA, France, nicolas.beaudoin@univ-pau.fr), Dr. Elma Charalampidou (Heriot-Watt, Ecosse, ec10@hw.ac.uk)

PhD location: Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh, Scotland).

This PhD thesis explores deformation bands observed in two different areas located in the southern foreland of the Pyrenees: the Boixols overlap area (Tremp basin) and the Cotiella thrust area (Armena Valley). These sites provide access to two types of host rock lithologies: Cotiella cement-limestone calcarenites and Boixols sandstones. The goals of this PhD thesis are: a) to characterise the petrophysics of these bands focusing on their textural characteristics; and  b) to evaluate the impact of the observed bands on the structural integrity of the rock mass. The PhD thesis will develop along 4 axis; work will focus on a) the (micro)structural characterisation of the terrain (geological interpretation); b) the characterisation of grain texture by 3D imaging (XR CT, petrophysical investigation); c) the understanding of the bands’ formation (including deformation and fluids the circulated history) by  reconstructing the temperature conditions using isotopic approaches;  and d) the mechanical response of samples with pre-existing  deformation bands (whose grain distribution has been previously characterised by 3D X-ray CT) accompanied by a numerical modelling of fluid flow along the samples’ volume. The first three parts will be mainly carried out at the host university (UPPA, Pau, France), and the last part will require a stay at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, Scotland).

The successful candidate should have: a) a strong knowledge of structural geology and/or rock mechanics; b) programming skills to effectively use image analysis and numerical modelling tools; c) good literature and writing integration skills.

Please send your applications by email to one of the PhD supervisors until the 15th of July 2020. Your application should contain: a) a cv in English; b) a motivation letter in English; c) Master’s transcripts and rankings; d) a pdf copy of the MSc thesis (if available); e) contact details of 2 referees (or letters of support from 2 referees).

More details in the attached file.

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