François Renard

Earthquake in Turkey 1994
Earthquake in Turkey 1944
Falut plane
Falut plane

My main research area is rock physics, related to fluid rock interactions in porous and fractured media. I develop studies in two kinds of systems - fault zones and geological reservoirs - using laboratory experiments and numerical micro-models. The results are then interpreted with observations provided from field cases. Two main topics are detailed below.

Physics and chemistry of deformation processes in the Earth's upper crust:

Here, I study the dynamics of active faults during the seismic cycle be developing analogue experiments (creep and friction) and 3D and 4D in-situ imaging (X-ray synchrotron tomography) of rock samples undergoing deformation. Experimental data are compared to natural faults where I charaxterize the roughness of exhumed active fault planes using high-resolution laser scanners (LiDAR) and their mineralogical content. A major scientific question is to understand why, on the same fault, the tectonic loading can induce either earthquakes, or slow aseismic creep motions. This research may have applications for seismic hazard assesment and induced seismicity (recovery of hydrocarbon and injections of water and CO2).

Fluid-rock interactions in geological reservoirs:

Long term CO2 geological sequestration is the possibility to inject large amounts of carbon dioxide in underground reservoirs to decrease the amount of acid gas released in the atmosphere. Here, the scientific challenges is to understand how the carbon dioxide will acidify the pore waters in the reservoir and will induce slow creep deformation or circulate along faults and fractures. Other applications in geological reservoirs concern shale gas and how micro-fractures may develop during fluid expulsion. In the recent years, I have also developed time-resolved atmoc scale imaging of processes of interactions between various kinds of pollutants and mineral surfaces, for environmental applications.

Current Research Projects

2017 Cybele: Nanoscale imaging and modelling of mineral surfaces during mechano-chemical transformations, University of Oslo
2017 Argus: Imaging rock properties using neutron and X-ray tomography, Norwegian Research Council, Synknøyt program
2017 Prometheus: Microfracturing in black shales and primary migration, Norwegian Research Council, Petromaks2 program
2016 Hades: Unravelling rock deformation using 4D X-ray tomography, Norwegian Research Council, FriPro program