Nicolas Clausolles

Research Topics

  • Seismic interpretation
  • Salt tectonics
  • Structural uncertainties
  • 3D geomodeling

About the PhD (2017-2020)

Salt plays a significant role in tectonic, thermal and fluid migration processes owing to its peculiar physical properties, and especially so in hydrocarbon trap formation. Economic interests associated with halokinesis have motivated a large number of studies about the geometry of salt geobodies at depth and the associated tectonic mechanisms. These studies demonstrate a large variety of halokinetic structures and highlight ambiguities in interpreting conventional seismic images. Furthermore, modeling complex salt geometries is feasible with current available tools but requires lots of time and expertise to propose often deterministic interpretations of the underground structures.

This PhD aims at developing new methodologies dedicated to help seismic interpretation of salt geobodies. Two main directions (complementary and non-exclusive) are considered for the upcoming research. The first one focuses on the topological specificities encountered in salt tectonics, that currently make almost impossible the use of classical implicit modeling approaches: welds, that locally merge salt layer interfaces and separate salt volumes in several isolated blocks; and halokinetic sequences, that are often characterized by a conformal deposition in the center of mini-basins, while unconformities become a rule at the proximity of diapirs. The second one aims at sampling the uncertainties related to the interpretation of salt geobodies from seismic images by introducing a stochastic framework within the interpretation workflow.

Related software

Related trainings

  • Salt modeling: 3D stochastic modeling of salt bodies and welds, integration of data constraints.
  • Salt velocity modeling: automatic generation of velocity models from stochastically generated salt bodies, application to the assessment of salt related structural uncertainties during migration