My research focus is primarily on Geo-Energy in Sedimentary Basins.

This includes a vast realm of subjects requiring different multi scale approaches aiming at understanding the way sedimentary basins form, are filled, evolve through time and how and where they can hold energy resources (i.e hydrocarbons and geothermal heat and water). This is aimed to develop genetic models which will help the exploration and sustainable exploitation of energy fluid by predicting how they form, accumulate, distribute and move in the underground. The current energy challenge faced by our society make this topic an exciting area of work which require the smart deployment of all sort of classic and modern multidisciplinary analytical methods and techniques starting from basic field and lab sedimentology and petrography, to the use and interpretation of geophysical data to arrive to the use of sophisticated 3D geo-modelling tools aimed at describing the rocks in the deep subsurface and simulating the fluids flowing through it.

The flagship research projects the GE-RGBA is actively involved on, concern the integrated subsurface studies supporting the deep geothermal & hydrothermal exploration and CO2 storage evaluation potential of the Swiss Plateau. These projects are related to the GEothermie 2020 project and the large national project Swiss Competence Centers of Energy Research (SCCER SoE) funded by the Geneva-based energy industry (SIG), the Canton of Geneva and the Swiss Confederation.

In brief the Geo-Energy research objectives we are aiming to within the GE-RGBA group are the following:

  1. Develop reliable geological predictive models of sedimentary systems in order to maximise geo-energy exploration and development success.
  2. Integrate different scale analytical and investigation technologies within a multidisciplinary approach to improve our realistic representation and geo-modeling of subsurface reservoirs.
  3. Provide workflows and best practices to understand and quantify accurately static subsurface uncertainties, controlling the   dynamic flow behaviour in the reservoirs.

More specifically, the techniques and expertise present in my research group at present include:

  1. Sedimentology, stratigraphy and facies analysis
  2. 2D-3D seismic interpretation and seismic stratigraphy
  3. Basin scale gravity measurement and interpretation
  4. Structural geology
  5. Petrophysics and wireline log interpretation
  6. Automated and conventional petrography, mineralogy, geochronology and chemostratigraphy
  7. Hydrogeology and water geochemistry
  8. Organic geochemistry and Basin modelling
  9. 3D geological modelling

Lab facilities: our group is responsible of a QEMSCAN an automated scanning electron microscopy for mineralogical and element mapping and petrographic analysis and a AP-608  Coretest an industry standard automated porosimeter and gas permameter. Beside this, we benefit from direct access to a a wealth of analytical technologies available at the University of Geneva and Lausanne.

Research projects: ongoing and from the recent past

  • Infill and architecture of large glacial tunnel valleys: example from Pleistocene in NW Europe and Ordovician reservoirs in North Africa and Middle East. [sponsor: industry GRASP consortium and Department of Public Instruction, State of Geneva]
  • Sedimentary processes, architecture and reservoir connectivity of incised valleys dominated Upper Carboniferous fluvio-deltaic  (Eastern Kentucky). [sponsor: Total SA]
  • Bimodal carbonate sedimentation in shallow ramp setting: bimodal sedimetary patterns controlled by high-energy (i.e. tsunamis) event (Egadi Island, Sicily). [sponsor: Department of Public Instruction, State of Geneva]
  • High-resolution study of fluvial clastic prograding deposition in Andes foreland (northern Argentina): dicerning from tectonic and climatic forcing. [sponsor: Swiss National Funds]
  • Mutidisciplinary study and assessment of the geothermal potential of the Great Geneva Basin (SW Switzerland). [sponsor: SIG – Service Industriel de Geneve & Geological Survey State of Geneva]
  • Evaluation of unconventional hydrocarbon play occurrence in the Swiss Plateau: a risk or opportunity?. [sponsor: Swiss Federal Office of Energy – Swisstopo]
  • Mineralogy, organic and inorganic geochemistry of Marcellus Shales, Pennsylvania. [sponsor: Sam Carmalt]
  • Impact on textural characteristics of basement rocks in controlling their geomechanical properties. [sponsor: Swiss National Funds]
  • Stratigraphic and sedimentologic signature of the Messinian salinity crisis in the onshore Nile Delta. [sponsor: Cultural office, Embassy of Egypt]
  • Characterization of the hydrocarbon source rock in the Nile delta. [sponsor: Cultural office, Embassy of Egypt]
  • Impact and influence of ash-fed sediment supply in Cretaceous fluvial fan reservoirs San George Basin, Argentina. [sponsor: YPF SA]
  • Evaluation of the occurrence of large gravity sliding in the resulting architecture of deep water stratigraphy (Torbas, Spain). [sponsor: Total SA]
  • Genesis and evolution of the Watukosek fault system (Lusi, Eastern java, Indonesia) based on 2D seismic line and attribute analysis. [sponsor: European Research Grant A. Mazzini]
  • Interpretation of the subsurface geology around the Lusi mud volcano eruption based on seismic stratigraphy: new insights and genetic model. [sponsor: European Research Grant A. Mazzini]
  • Carbon capture sequestration potential in the Middle East and North Africa region: a geological perspective [sponsor: United Nation ESCWA].
  • Geological assessment of cretaceous reservoirs in the Salah ad Din Province, Iraq. [sponsor: GeoPetrol]

The geographical distribution of work and research projects carried out in the past by my self over the last 25 years can be find here: world-projects.

DSCF7738Exploring Late Ordovician glacial deposits in southern Morocco







Acknowledgements: All these several an diverse topics of research cannot be achieved without the help and support of my students and several colleagues which I warmly and sincerely thank:

Matteo Lupi, Elias Samankassou, Antoine De Haller, Georges Gorin, Branimir Segvic, Antonio Benvenuti, Arnoud Slootman, Damien Do Couto, Dario Ventra, Elme Rusillon, Francisco Javier Bataller, Gabriel Hunger, Goran Mijic, Joseph Frondo, Karim Beguelin, Leonardo De Oliveira, Loïc Pierdona, Luca Guglielmetti, Maud Brentini, Melanie Yaneez Pena, Maria Angelica Villareal, Mahmoud Leila, Nicolas Clerc, Rodolphe Lathion, Sam Carmalt.




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