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Dynamic Earth and Resources

Research of the Sedimentology and Marine Geology Group revolves around the central theme of carbonate sedimentology combined with petrophysics, diagenesis and inorganic geochemistry. The group works in field areas across the globe, and recent projects have taken us from the Netherlands to the UK, the southern Alps of Italy, Spain, Egypt, Morocco, and Iran; finally, we are participating in marine work (ODP-IODP and others) in the Bahamas, Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean and the Maldives.

The research activities of the Tectonics and Structural Geology Group range from outcrop-scale deformations to continent-scale tectonics. At the small scale we study deformation patterns affecting heterogeneous carbonate rocks such as carbonate platforms and investigate their impact of patterns of fluid flow. For this we use innovative acquisition and processing tools developed at the VU and at TU Delft. Activities at the larger scale focus on vertical movements leading to continental plateaus (for instance Turkey) and affecting passive continental margins. Investigating the Central Atlantic passive continental margin of Morocco, we have discovered that km-scale exhumation took place during the early post-rift stage leading to the production of large amounts of terrigenous sediments, which were transported to the offshore and deposited in the Central Atlantic passive margins. For the future we envision expansion of this work to the S (Mauritania and further) and to the E (Tunisia).

Combined, the scientific expertise presents opportunities for innovative research at the crossroads of the respective sub-disciplines, e.g. regional tectonic and reservoir evolution; fluid flows at the basin, reservoir, and micro-scale that influence geothermal fluxes, freshwater recharge and cementation processes (and thus reservoir porosity and permeability); CO2 storage and the evolution of water quality; interactions between terrestrial land-use (change), surface water, and groundwater quality in relation to reef dynamics.

  • The Stable Isotope Laboratory facilitates solid mass mass-spectrometers (Finigan 261, 262), gasmasspectrometers (Finnigan 251), but also specialises in measuring the stable isotope composition of fluids in fluid inclusions (Amsterdam crusher device).
  • The Petrophysics Laboratory focusses on measuring elastic, electric and hydraulic properties of sedimentary rocks, e.g. porosity, permeability, in-situ (plugs) seismic velocity measurements (P- and S-waves).
  • The Rock Preparation Laboratory facilitates the production of thin-sections, Polished thin-sections, wafers, slabs, lacker peels, acetate peels etc.
  • The Tec/Num laboratory covers analogue -and numerical modelling. Using ingredients like sand, silicon putty, scanners and photo cameras, to reconstruct the tectonic evolution of the earth at a manageable size. In the TecLab crustal scale and lithospheric scale experiments are conducted using different kinds of hardware and software as well as numerical modeling.¬†
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