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Numerical simulation of diagenetic fluid and heat flow and their impact on carbonate reservoir quality

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  • Full or part time
    Dr E Gomez-Rivas
    Dr G Quan
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Carbonate reservoirs contain more than 60% of the World’s oil and 40% of its gas reserves. They are often more complex than their clastic counterparts because post depositional (diagenetic) alterations can significantly enhance or degrade their reservoir potential. These alterations form as a consequence of the flow of diagenetic fluids that produce reactions such as dissolution, cementation and mineral replacement. Accurate predictions of the geometry, connectivity and reservoir quality of diagenetic geobodies thus require that we fully understand the controls on the fluid flow systems that produced them. This PhD project will develop reservoir- and basin-scale numerical simulations of diagenetic and hydrothermal fluid and heat flow that resulted in the formation of rock alterations in carbonate basins. We will use the software packages Tough2 and FLAC3D to run systematic series of simulations in order to capture the main parameters controlling fluid flow systems at the geologic time scale, using data from field case studies. These parameters include fault zone permeability, geothermal and fluid pressure gradients or the presence of seals, among others. The interplay between thermal-hydraulic and mechanical processes will also be investigated. In a later stage we will incorporate transport of solutes and reactions to selected simulations, in order to understand the coupled effects of porosity/permeability distribution, fluid composition, and fluid velocity and temperature. Reactive transport models will be carried out with the software Toughreact. The student will achieve a high level of independent competence in numerical simulation of geologic processes and will also develop reservoir modelling skills.

Essential Background: Equivalent of 2.1 Honours Degree in Geology, Reservoir Engineering, Physics

Knowledge of: numerical simulation of geological processes (with methods such as Finite Element, Finite Difference, etc.). Good knowledge of programming languages (such as C++, Fortran, Matlab, etc.) is highly desirable.

The other supervisor on this project is Dr Albert Griera (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Funding Notes

The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting There is NO funding attached to this project. You can find details of living costs and the like by visiting


This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Geology and Petroleum Geology. Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for PhD in Geology, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing. Please ensure that you quote the project title and supervisor on the application form.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr E Gomez-Rivas ([email protected]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

How good is research at Aberdeen University in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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