PhD Position Formation Mechanisms of Deep Karstified Fault Zones in A Carbonate Reservoir

Applicants are invited to apply for a PhD scholarship in marine sciences at ETH Zurich. The funds for this fellowship are available for 3 years. This position is open until filled.

The Chair of Engineering Geology at ETH Zrich invites applications for a 3-year fully funded PhD position in the area of modelling karst formation in carbonate reservoirs. new position.This project aims to use state-of-the-art numerical simulation to study the formation mechanisms of deep karstified fault zones in a carbonate reservoir located at the Tarim Basin in China. This deeply buried reservoir (>5 km depth) is featured with unevenly distributed, "bead-like" cave structures of variable sizes, as a result of corrosion processes during paleo-hydrological cycles. These dissolution cavities connected by fractures/faults constitute the major space for hydrocarbon storage. The strong heterogeneity over multiple length scales in the subsurface creates great challenges to the petroleum exploration and production. The key task of this PhD project is to develop/apply a coupled hydro-chemical model to simulate the karst initiation and evolution over geological timescales, and validate/calibrate the numerical model based on field data such as seismic tomography, well tests and production history. The important factors controlling the distribution of oil/gas storage and reservoir performance will be further explored to facilitate oil exploitation/production.

The successful candidate must hold a Master degree in Earth Sciences, Groundwater Hydrology, Petroleum Engineering or related fields and be strongly interested in academic research. Knowledge and experience in subsurface fluid flow, reactive transport and numerical modelling are of prime importance. Demonstrated interests in karst formation are desired. Desirable aspects also include excellent English communication and writing skills. This PhD position with an attractive stipend according to ETH standards can be filled by the successful candidate in spring 2019 for a period of 3 years. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Dr. Qinghua Lei and Prof. Simon Lw in the Department of Earth Sciences at ETH Zrich, with frequent interactions with other staff of the Department.

The Department of Earth Sciences of ETH Zurich has been consecutively ranked #1 for four years in the QS World University Rankings, Earth & Marine Sciences. The Chair of Engineering Geology consists of approximately 25 multidisciplinary scientists involved in a leading research and teaching program in quantitative engineering geology and hydrogeology. Detailed information about the Department of Earth Sciences and the Chair of Engineering Geology is available on the website:


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