Thesis proposal on Petrophysical characterisation of deformation bands in reservoir rocks

PhD Advisors : Prof. Charles Aubourg (UPPA, France,,  Dr. Nicolas Beaudoin (UPPA, France,, Dr. Elma Charalampidou (Heriot-Watt, Ecosse,

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).

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LARAM School on Landslide Risk

Dear All,

Covid19 outbreak is a global threat and, first of all, we hope that you and your families are fine. The LARAM team is fine and we hope to meet students and lecturers again in person as soon as possible.

Also this year the LARAM School ( will take the occasion to teach and be together with the students. We will simply do in a different way.

We reshaped the traditional schedule of the School, with the lectures and the other activities comprised in the time window from 13:00 to 19:30 in Italian Summer time (=UTC+2).

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International Conference on Geotechnical Engineering Education

GEE 2020, the International Conference on Geotechnical Engineering Education, will be streamed on June 23-25, 2020. You may register as an interactive participant for 220€, or view the streaming for 50€.

The program of the conference includes:
• the 2nd John Burland Lecture, delivered by Mark Jaksa
• two keynote lectures, delivered by Susan Ambrose and Rodrigo Salgado
• three invited lectures, delivered by Ton de Jong, Minna Karstunen and Vasilia Christidou
• 7 thematic sessions, including 23 original research papers
• 2 panel discussions

Check the full program ( and, if you are interested, do not forget to register (

Finally, there is still a short time (DEADLINE: Friday June 19) to apply for the AVAX-TC306 prize for young geotechnical engineering educators ( The prize consists of a lump sum of € 2000 to attend a conference on engineering education, of the young engineer’s choice, until the end of June 2022.

Invitation to AGERP Lecture on Geophysics for Geotechnical Engineers

The AGERP – Advancements in Geotechnical Engineering: From Research to Practice – Organising Committee invites you to a lecture series which aims to disseminate the coupled leanings from academia and industry on some of the key topics in Geotechnical engineering. It is a pro bono initiative, and the lectures are free to attend.
More info:

The second lecture will take place on June 25, 2020. Attached flier.

2 experimentalist positions at University Pau & Pays Adour

Two new experimentalist positions are available in the Geomechanics and Porous Media research group at University Pau & Pays Adour, Basque Coast Campus, Anglet, France. The positions are:

Research Engineer Assistant in experimental porous media. Starting date: September 1st, 2020 (16 months). Details may be found at (in French):

Research Engineer in experimental porous media. Starting date: September 1st, 2020 (16 months). Details may be found at (in French):

PhD position at the Catholic University of Leuven and the Belgian Nuclear Research Center

In support of the research programme related to the safe disposal of nuclear waste, KU Leuven and SCK CEN are looking for a PhD candidate for following topic:

Diffusion of gases in desaturated clay-based materials

The main aim of the PhD is to investigate how desaturation influences the diffusive properties of the samples for gases. This will be accomplished by performing diffusion experiments on different clay-rich materials (e.g. Boom Clay, Opalinus Clay, bentonite, sand-bentonite mixtures, …) at different degrees of saturation (but still highly saturated to avoid a continuous gas pathway), using different gases (He, Ne, CH4, C2H6). Different methods to perform transport experiments under desaturated conditions exist (e.g. osmosis method, saturated salt method …), but none of them has been used to measure diffusivity of dissolved gases. Diffusivity data will be complemented with a full petrophysical characterisation of all samples in order to assess the effect of changing petrophysical properties on diffusivity, and to compare the observations to those of fully saturated samples. The PhD will be executed in the international context of the EC-EURAD project, with close collaboration between SCK-CEN and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, CH) and other partners involved in EURAD. More information on the topic & how to apply can be found on

For further details, please contact Dr. Elke Jacops (

Deadline for application is September 4th, 2020

Academia during the COVID-19 pandemic (survey results)

Dear Colleagues,

The coronavirus pandemic and associated isolation periods have affected all academic activities in every corner of the globe.

The attached essay reports the results of an early study that examines the implications of this period on education and research within the geotechnical and earth science academic communities in four distinct geographical locations. It also includes the results of complementary surveys conducted to explore faculty choices for online education and student preferences.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any comments and feedback.

With best wishes to you all,

Carlos Santamarina

PhD proposal in Grenoble (INRAE and 3SR laboratory) on double-scale modelling of snow avalanche release

Snow is a fascinating material with a complex and evolving microstructure. Snow avalanches, notably slab avalanches, are generally initiated by failure and collapse in the snowpack of a so-called weak layer, whose thickness can be very small (a few mm). This phenomenon, in which the instability of a whole slope is ultimately controlled by rupture mechanisms at the scale of the microstructure of the weak layer, is intrinsically multiscale.

Key points of the PhD:

  • Development of an innovative numerical approach
  • Applications to natural hazards (snow avalanches)
  • Stimulating and multidisciplinary work team

More details in the attached file.

PhD position on landfill stabilisation (project CURE)

The project CURE (Coupled multiprocess research for reducing landfill emissions) investigates the reduction of the emission potential of landfills by in situ stabilisation measures and will develop predictive tools to forecast the pertaining processes and residual emissions. The objective of the research carried out in this particular PhD project is to quantitatively analyse the spatio-temporal response of landfills to different in-situ stabilisation measures by monitoring the change in quantity and quality of emissions through the water and gas phase as well as the change in the landfills’ structural architecture. This will be achieved by high-resolution measurements of

  • Leachate quantity and quality, including stable isotopes and DNA/RNA profiling
  • 3D temperature time series and 3D water content time series
  • Gas quantity and quality
  • Stabilisation-induced consolidation.
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