Ph.D Project: Post-rift source-to-sink evolution of the NW Africa passive margin

The project, supervised by Prof. G. Bertotti, Prof. J. Redfern, and Dr. J. Storms, focuses on the exhumation, erosion and sedimentation system, which developed during Jurassic to Cretaceous times in the passive continental margin of North West Africa. A large portion of Morocco experienced km-scale exhumation producing sediments that were transported by fluvial systems to the west and deposited onshore and offshore.

Our aim is to constrain the exhumation, erosion, distributary and depositional (onshore and offshore) patterns. Analysis of transitional successions outcropping in Morocco and of deep-water deposits seismically imaged offshore will provide a reconstruction of the depositional system.

This project is funded by ISES (The Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Science) and supported by the NARG (North Africa Research Group) as part of the Early Cretaceous Morocco Project.

Work published: 4 posters, 3 oral conference presentations, and 2 papers (+2 in preparation)

M.Sc. Project: Diagenetic history of Bathonian formations (Middle Jurassic) from the northwestern and southwestern edges of the Paris Basin

The project was supervised by Dr. P.Y. Collin of the UMR 6282 at the University of Burgundy (Dijon) and funded by the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM).   

For the BRGM, the Paris Basin (France) is a potential location for deep geological storage of CO2. The “Oolithe Blanche” Formation (Bathonian, Middle Jurassic) and its lateral equivalent formations are currently studied for this purpose. The site suitability as a storage zone depends on its petrophysical properties (porosity/permeability), which are influenced by compaction and cementation.

Several sets of fluids (meteoric, marine or mixed) have circulated within these mainly oolitic formations at different times during their diagenetic history. To constrain the composition and the origin of these fluids, analyses of cement phases were conducted across the Paris Basin. From the northwestern Bathonian fringe in Normandy down to Poitou and Centre, nine sedimentological sections were selected in order to provide the base of this work. Forty thin sections were made out of these outcrops and analysed by microscopy, staining and cathodoluminescence.

Bathonian sediments have undergone the three diagenetic stages: eogenesis, mesogenesis and telogenesis. Parent fluids of mesogenetic cements are widely compared on the eastern side of the basin (geochemistry, ferrous content, luminescence) but not on the opposite side. This work shows that mesogenetic phases are clearly different across the Paris Basin. However, parent fluids origins, ages and paths were not well constrained.

Work published: 1 poster and 1 paper