2018-04-Offer for a Thesis Allowance Subject : Rainbow trout amino acid metabolism: from amino acid uptake to outcomes on trout physiology

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E2S: Energy and Environment Solutions

What is E2S?

What is E2S?

The consortium at the heart of the Energy Environment Solutions (E2S) project is a composed of the University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour (UPPA) and two national research organisations, National Institute...

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  • > Offer for a Thesis Allowance Subject: 4D distribution of past stress in fold-and-thrust belts: study of the Umbria Marche Apennine Ridge, Italy.

Offer for a Thesis AllowanceSubject: 4D distribution of past stress in fold-and-thrust belts: study of the Umbria Marche Apennine Ridge, Italy.

Thesis subject


The state of stress is a fundamental but elusive information to apprehend. Stress history is responsible of most of the strain in the crust, governing numerous problematics of strong societal impact, like earthquake tectonics, georesource distribution, or to calibrate geomechanical models. The long(>Ma)-term spatial-temporal evolution of the stress magnitude is mandatory to validate existing numerical, analogous and mechanical models accounting for stress compartmentalization in folds and in fold-and-thrust belt.

This PhD subject will focus on reconstructing the successive stress tensor in several structures along a transect in a carbonated fold-and-thrust belt, by combining a structural and microstructural approach to paleopiezometer such as the stylolite roughness inversion technique and the calcite stress inversion technique. The target for this study is the Umbria Marches fold-and-thrust belt, in the central Apennines (Italy). This active arcuate belt underwent a complex sequence of compressional deformation (thin- then thick-skinned) that is imprinted in the competent Jurassic-Cretaceous limestones as fractures and stylolites. These limestone host numerous stylolites, both of tectonic and sedimentary origins, allowing to reconstruct the successive stress magnitude and regime experienced by the strata from the hinterland to the foreland. To reconstruct the deformation sequence and related stress evolution will help to unravel questions about (1) the stress compartmentalization at fold and fold-thrust belt scale, (2) the effect of structural style on stress level in the crust, and (3) the share of deformation mechanisms in stress accommodation (brittle fracture vs ductile pressure solution).

Key words: Tectonics, micro-structural, Apennines, stress, paleopiezometry, reservoir.

Working conditions

Hosting laboratory: Laboratoire des Fluides Complexes et de leur Réservoir

Thesis Directors: Prof. Jean-Paul Callot
Thesis Co-director: Dr. Nicolas Beaudoin

Localisation address: Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, campus of Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France

Starting date: September 1st 2018

Length: 3 years (September 1st, 2018 to September 1st, 2021)

Employer: Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (UPPA)
Funding: E2S scientific challenges project from the university of “Pau et des Pays de l’Adour” UPPA

Gross monthly salary: 1 878 € / month (which includes extra gratification for teaching duties – 32h per year)

Laboratory expertise

The laboratoire des fluides complexes et de leur réservoir has a recognized expertise ranging from chemo-physics of interfaces, rock mecanics, geophysics, geology of reservoir rocks and thermodynamics. LCFR is an UMR with an industrial label, with the company Total sharing the supervision with CNRS and UPPA. LFCR mainly study the georesources along problematics in line with societal and economical local environment. The candidate will be part of the team “caractérisation des Réservoirs Géologiques”, that deals with the geological, mechanical and geophysical phenomenon that impact geological reservoirs.


Mission - Main activities

Scientific framework

Time evolution and spatial distribution of stress over long-term is a key problematic to understand deformation in the upper crust and to further predict the evolution of reservoir rocks. In order to validate mechanical models that predict a complex stress pattern during deformation, such as folding, it is important to be able to document the evolution of the stress orientation and magnitude in a natural case study of a long-term deformation.


This PhD subject will tackle the past stress problematic by reconstructing the past stress tensors in several structures from the hinterland to the foreland of the carbonate fold-and-thrust belt. After fieldwork to carry a structural/microstructural study of the structure and the fracture/stylolite networks, the candidate will use paleopiezometric techniques to unravel the stress magnitude and orientation, along with the depth of deformation. Namely, a methodological development on the stylolite roughness inversion is expected.

Expected results

Ideally, the PhD includes 5 work packages:

1: Fieldwork - Microstructural analysis - Characterisation of the fracture-stylolite networks in key structures following an SE-NW transect across the Umbria Marches, with a focus on the regional event that will be ordered into a temporal sequence.

2: Paleopiezometric technique – Further methodological development of the stylolite roughness inversion process, a method based on signal analysis that allow to access the stress magnitude

3: Structural analysis - Reconstruction of time-steps cross section of the belt, using new estimate of the maximum burial depth across the belt obtained from the sedimentary stylolites’ roughness inversion.

4: Stress evolution - Use of tectonic stylolite roughness inversion and combination to other established paleopiezometer, calcite twinning, to reconstruct the stress tensors history and distribution across the belt

5: Mechanical validation – Implication of the stress evolution and mechanical parameter of rock to account for the preferential mechanisms of deformation documented in strata (fracture vs stylolite, timing of deformation within the same tectonic phase, etc…)

Research collaborations

This PhD is supervised by Dr. Nicolas Beaudoin and Prof. Jean-Paul Callot (UPPA), and also benefits of a co-supervision team to support the candidate works: Prof. Olivier Lacombe (UPMC Paris 6), Prof. Charles Aubourg (UPPA) and Dr. Guilhem Hoareau (UPPA). Additionally, interactions with ongoing PhD projects are expected. Further collaborations with industrial partners (at the level of the LFCR and of the E2S consortium), and with specific universities (Roma III, Glasgow) are likely.

Required skills and competences

Ideal candidate has a geology Msc, with a strong background in structural geology (on the field and in the lab), and a developed interest for signal analysis or physical statistic. An interest in computing techniques (Matlab, image analysis) and/or diagenetic studies for fracture infill analysis are a bonus.

Application - Evaluation criteria

Application file assessment: Selection committee

Candidates will first be selected based on their application file.
Those selected after this first step, will then be interviewed.

Application files will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Grades and ranking during your Master degree, steadiness in your academic background
  • English language proficiency
  • Candidate’s ability to present her/his work and results

Work experience similar to an internship in a laboratory – or likewise; previously achieved research work
(reports, publications).

Application file composition et submission deadline

Application will include: (in a single pdf file)

  • CV
  • Cover letter
  • Master degree grade transcripts and ranking
  • Reference letter
  • Contact details of at least two people, from you work environment, who can be contacted for further reference

Application must be send to the following email address with the title “Doctoral application”: e2s.lfcr @ gmail.com

For more details, please visit our websites: http://e2s-uppa.eu/en/index.html

Submission deadline : May 10th, 2018