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Earth Sciences at the University of Fribourg

Bern-Fribourg Master in Earth Sciences


Details of Master Thesis Topic (Module D):
Characterization of fluid accompanied deformation along thrust faults

Master Thesis title: Characterization of fluid accompanied deformation along thrust faults
Description:Fluid flow, pore pressure, and tectonic processes are tightly interconnected and trigger the growth of orogenic wedges. Fluids released by sediment compaction and mineral dehydration have profound effects on fault and earthquake mechanics by controlling the effective stresses in a system. The Infrahelvetic Flysch units represent the sedimentary infill of the North Alpine Foreland Basin and they became incorporated into the Alpine orogenic wedge during the late Paleogene part of the Alpine orogeny. Thereby, the sediments were internally folded, thrusted and devolatilized under diagenetic to low-grade metamorphic conditions. The occurrence of mineral veins along discrete fault and shear zones proves the presence of fluids during internal deformation. The aim of the current project is to unravel the mechanics of vein formation to better understand the relative timing of vein formation within the stress cycles of propagating thrust faults.

The project includes fieldwork in the Glarus Alps and microstructural analysis on the thin-section scale. The analysis requires light optical techniques, SEM work as well as stable isotope (C, O) analyses.

The MSc candidate will learn to link field observations to microscopic structures and to interpret them in the context of rock mechanical processes. Furthermore, the studied processes play a major role in many industrial sectors, such as shale gas exploration, deep-seated geothermal energy, hydropower or groundwater management.
Advisors:Prof. Marco Herwegh, Prof. Alfons Berger
Specialities:ERG, GEOL
University: BE


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University of Fribourg | Dépt. Géosciences ; Ch. du Musée 6 - Pérolles ; CH-1700 Fribourg |
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© Universität Bern 10.08.2017