Research Themes

Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Diagenesis

The stratal architecture of carbonate platforms and the associated sedimentary facies are currently a hot research topic: carbonates are perfect "dip stick" of the ocean for sea-level studies, and the medium-scale 3D geometry of carbonate geobodies is still poorly resolved. In addition, we are interested in the interplay between the original depositional fabric, the early diagenetic potential of a rock and it petrophysical properties.

Contributing PIs: Dr. Cédric John 

Paleoenvironments and Climate

Most of what we know about the past is tied to carbonate material: the study of paleoenvironment relies on the analysis of calcareous nannofossil and foraminifer assemblages, and one the isotopic and elemental composition of calcareous shells. Pelagic, neritic, hydrothermal and terrestrial carbonates offer a unique source of information about our changing planet.

Contributing PIs: Dr. Rosalind Coggon, Dr. Tom Dunkley Jones, Dr. Cédric John 

Rift-Related Carbonates

Rift systems are prone to the formation of carbonate buildups of economic importance. Rifted margin can be host to restricted or open lake systems where freshwater carbonates can develop, and eventually can lead to fully marine conditions with the deposition of carbonate buildups ontop of basement highs.

Contributing PIs: Prof. Al Fraser, Dr. Chris Jackson


Fractured Carbonates

Carbonate sediments are rapidly cemented post-deposition, and therefore deform in a brittle fashion during burial and exhumation. As a consequence, carbonate reservoirs are typically fractured. Understanding flow in aquifers or oil and gas reservoirs must naturally include an understanding of the fracture network, and how it is connected in three dimensions.

Contributing PIs: Prof. John Cosgrove

Fluid Flow in Carbonates

Fluid flow in carbonates has a wide variety of applications in enhancing our understanding of carbonate systems.  From studies of how carbonates evolve through diagenetic processes to improving oil recovery in carbonate reservoirs, fluid flow is a key element in our understanding of this geological system. Carbonate rocks are reactive with many geo-fluids and their pore-structure is often much more complex than sandstones, which makes fluid dynamics in carbonates a challenging and highly relevant research problem. 

Contributing PIs: Prof. Martin Blunt, Dr. Matt Jackson, Dr. Gary Hampson, Dr. Tara LaForce