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Equipe : Géologie des Réservoirs et Ressources
Catégorie : Enseignant Chercheur
Localisation : Bt22 447

Maître de Conférences UM2

Contact : Roger Soliva

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Roger Soliva :
Maître de conférence, HDR.

Research projects

Fault zones are the largest geological discontinuities that accumulate shear strain in the Earth crust and their mechanical/petrophysical properties partly control their seismic activity and also the trap of a large part of our energetic ressources. The understanding of their behaviour is therfore fundamntal for our society and I focus on some important processes that remain to be emphasized :

1 - Fault systems and friction : Fault zone composition and their 3-D geometry are governed by a wide variety of mechanical behaviors dependent on the lithology, diagenesis, pore pressure, temperature and the mode of stress transmission. These different rheologies and 3-D geometry imply variable strength along fault and through time which is extremely difficult to determine on natural cases. In order to establish the potential links between the stress/strain field and fault frictional properties, I propose to join complementary approaches including : (1) micro- and macro-structural field analyses, (2) 3-D elastic numerical model of more or less complex and frictional fault systems, and (3) multilayered visco-elastic experimental model at the time-scale of the seismic cycle.
Collaborations : F. and L. Maerten, S. Dominguez, J.-P. Petit, A. Taboada, J. Matilla

2 – Strain localisation in porous sandstones : Deformation bands are brittle-ductile structures in porous sandstones in which the petrophysical properties can be roughly different than the surrounding host rock. The analysis of cataclastic band sets from France, USA, UK, Germany, Taïwan reveals that their density, thicknesses, conjugate angles, ratio of shear displacement to compaction, and the amount of cataclasis within the bands are different and can be expressed as a function of tectonic setting, burial (including diagenesis) and material properties. The appraoch proposed relates micro- and macroscopic patterns of deformation bands to geomechanics, constrained by triaxial tests, in-situ stresses from bore holes and numerical models.
Collaborations : H. Fossen, A. Chemenda, R. Schultz, A. Taboada, C. Wibberley, E., Saillet, R. Castilla, A. Benedicto, P. Bésuelle

3 – Fault zones in hydro-geothermal field :
The way that brittle faults control upward fluid flow in continental active hydrothermal systems is not well known, particularly because the geometry of damage and core zones in tight rock such as cristalline basement rocks needs to be emphasized. The Têt normal fault in the Eastern Pyrenees offers the opportunity to study the relationships between hydrothermal activity and fault zones deformation, unit juxtaposition and tectonic history, since an alignment of hot spring of temperature ranging between 23°c and 75°C occurs along the fault. We analyse the coupling between normal fault zone and hydrothermal convection based on brittle damage analysis, hydro-geochemical data and fluid flow numerical modeling including permeability anisotropy, topography and thermicity.
Collaborations : L. Guillou-Frottier, E. Le Goff, B. Le Bayon


I am at the head of the Master program "Géologie de l’exploration et des Réservoir" (GER). I generally lecture structural geology and field geology at different levels of the Licence - Master geoscience program of the university Montpellier II. In the more advanced degrees, I am specialized in teaching fault and fracture from field to mechanics and their role on fluid flow. The content of my teaching is based on field observations, aerial photographs, maps, seismic profiles, samples, thin sections, experiments, analytical solutions and numerical models.

- In charge of the "Tectonic" course of the 1st GER Master year.
- On charge of the "Fractured Reservoir" course of the 2cd GER Master year.
- In charge of the field trip course St Martin de Londres - Digne (Licence 3).
- In charge of the Géologie de la France course (Licence 2).
- Co-advisor of the "Fault-fluid interaction" course of the 2cd GER Master year.
- Teaching fault and fracture mechanics in the "Rock physics and deformation" course of the 1st DTRN Master year.
- Teaching faut and fracture mechanics in the Tectonic course of Licence 3.
- Teaching brittle rock deformation in the Tectonic course of Licence 2.


1. Soliva, R., Ballas., G., Fossen, H., Philit, S., 2016. Tectonic regime controls clustering of deformation bands in porous sandstones. Geology 6, 423-426.

2. Monnier, D., Gay, A., Imbert, P., Cavailhes, T., Soliva R., Lopez, M., (2015). Sand injectites network as marker of the palaeo-stress field, the structural framework and the distance to the sand source : example in the Vocontian Basin, SE France, Journal of Structural Geology, 79, 1-18., doi : 10.1016/j.jsg.2015.07.001.

3. Philit, S., Soliva, R., Pierre Labaume, Gout, C., Wibberley, C., 2015. Relations between shallow cataclastic faulting and cementation in porous sandstones : First insight from a groundwater environmental context. Journal of Structural Geology 81. DOI : 10.1016/j.jsg.2015.10.001

4. Caniven, Y., Dominguez, S., Soliva, R., Cattin, R., Peyret, M., Marchandon, M., Romano, C., Strak, V., (2015). A new multilayered visco-elastic experimental model to study strike-slip fault seismic cycle, Tectonics, doi : 10.1002/2014TC003701.

5. Ballas, G., Fossen, H., Soliva, R., (2015). Factors controlling permeability of cataclastic deformation bands and faults in porous sandstone reservoirs. Journal of Structural Geology, 76. DOI:10.1016/j.jsg.2015.03.013.

6. Lejri, M., Maerten, F., Maerten, L., Soliva, R., (2015). Paleostress inversion : A multi-parametric geomechanical evaluation of the Wallace-Bott assumptions. Tectonophysics 657, 30 August 2015, Pages 129–143.

7. Mahe, S., Gasc-Barbier M., Soliva, R., (2015). Joint set intensity estimation : comparison between investigation modes. Bulletin Of Engineering Geology And The Environment, vol. 74 p.171-180.

8. Fossen, H., Zuluaga L.F, Ballas, G, Soliva d, Rotevatn, A, (2015). Contractional deformation of porous sandstone : insights from the Aztec Sandstone in the footwall to the Sevier-age Muddy Mountains thrust, SE Nevada, USA. Journal of Structural Geology 74, 172-184.

9. Skurtveit, E., Ballas, G., Fossen, H., Torabi, A., Soliva, R., Peyret, M., (2014). Sand textural control on shear-enhanced compaction band development in poorly-lithified sandstone. Journal of Geological Resource and Engineering 01/2014 ; 2:115 - 130.

10. Chemenda, A., Ballas, G., Soliva, R., (2014). Impact of a multilayer structure on initiation and evolution of strain localization in porous rocks : Field observations and numerical modelling. Tectonophysics. January 2014.

11. Ballas, G., Soliva, R., Benedicto, A., Sizun, J.-P., (2014). Control of tectonic setting and large-scale faults on the basin-scale distribution of deformation bands in porous sandstone (Provence, France). Marine and Petroleum Geology 55, August 2014, Pages 142–159.

12. Cavailhes, T., Labaume, P., Sizun, J.-P., Soliva, R., Gout, C., Potdevin, J.-L., Buatier, M., Gay, A., Chauvet, A., Charpentier, D., Travé, A., (2014). Difference in petrophysical properties between foliated and dilatant fault rocks in deeply buried clastics : The case of the Gres d’Annot Formation, SW French Alps. Terra Nova, vol. 26 p.298-306 (2014)

13. Soliva R., Schultz, R. A., Ballas, G., Taboada, A., Wibberley., C., Saillet, E., and A. Benedicto (2013). A model of strain localization in porous sandstone as a function of tectonic setting, burial and material properties ; new insight from Provence (southern France). Journal of Structural Geology. 49, 50-63.

14. Cavailhes, T., Sizun, J.-P, Labaume, P., Chauvet, A., Buatier, M., Soliva, R., Mezri, L., Charpentier, D., Travé, A. and C. Gout (2013). Influence of fault rock foliation on fault zone permeability : The case of deeply buried arkosic sandstones (Grès d’Annot, SE FRANCE). American Association of Petroleum Geologists. v. 97, no. 7, pp. 1521–1543.

15. Cavailhes, T., Soliva, R, Labaume, P., Chauvet, A., Buatier, M., Wibberley, C.A., Sizun, J.-P., Gout, C., Charpentier, D., Chauvet, A., Scalabrino, B., Buatier, M. (2013). Phyllosilicate formation in fault rocks : implication for dormant fault-sealing potential and fault strength in the upper crust. Geophysical Reasearch Letters. 40, 1–7, doi:10.1002/grl.50829.

16. Schultz, R. A., Klimczak, C., Fossen, H., Olson, J.E., Exnere, U., Reeves, D.M., and R. Soliva (2013). Statistical tests of scaling relationships for geologic structures. Journal of Structural Geology, 48, 85-94.

17. Ballas, G., Soliva, R., Sizun, J.-P., Benedicto, A., Fossen, H., and E., Skurtveit (2013). Shear-enhanced Compaction Bands formed at shallow burial conditions ; implications for fluid flow (Provence, FRANCE). Journal of Structural Geology, 47, 3-15.

18. Ballas, G., Soliva, R., Sizun, J.-P., Benedicto, A., Cavailhes, T., Raynaud, S. (2012). The importance of ultracataclastic shear bands for fluid flow in porous sandstone (Provence, FRANCE). American Association of Petroleum Geologists 96(11), 2167-2186. DOI:10.1306/04051211097.

19. Laurent, D., Gay, A., Baudon, C., Berndt., C., Soliva, R., Planke, S., Mourgues, S., Lacaze, S., Pauget, F., Mangue, M., and M., Lopez, (2012). High-resolution architecture of a polygonal fault interval inferred from Geomodel applied to 3D seismic data from the Gjallar Ridge, Vøring Basin, Offshore Norway. Marine Geology.

20. Raynaud, S., Vasseur, G., Soliva, R., 2012. In vivo CT X-ray observations of porosity evolution during triaxial deformation of a calcarenite. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Science, 56 : 161–170

21. Schultz R., A., and R., Soliva (2012). Propagation energies inferred from deformation bands in sandstone. International Journal of Fracture, 176:135–149. DOI 10.1007/s10704-012-9730-2

22. Steer P., Bigot, A, Cattin, R., Soliva, R. (2011). In-situ characterization of the effective elasticity of a fault zone, and its relationship to fracture spacing. J. Struc. Geol., 33, 1541-1553.

23. Klimczak, C., R. Soliva, R. A. Schultz, and J. Chéry (2011). Sequential growth of deformation bands in a multilayer, 26 sequence, J. Geophys. Res., 116, doi:10.1029/2011JB008365

24. Soliva, R., Maerten, F., Petit, J.-P., and Auzias, V., (2010). Field evidences for the role of static friction on fracture orientation in extensional relays along strike-slip faults ; comparison with photoelasticity and 3D numerical modelling. Journal of Structural Geology, 32, 1721–1731. doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2010.01.008.

25. Polit, A., Schultz, R.A., and R., Soliva, 2009. Geometry, displacement-Length scaling, and strain of normal faults on Mars with inferences on mechanical stratigraphy of the Martian crust. Journal of Structural Geology 31, 662-673, doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2009.03.016

26. Soliva, R., Benedicto, A., Schultz, R., Maerten, L., and L., Micarelli, 2008. Displacement and interaction of normal fault segments branched at depth ; Implications for fault growth and potential earthquake rupture size. Journal of Structural Geology 30, 1288¬1299, doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2008.07.005.

27. Schultz, R.A, Soliva, R., Fossen, H., Okubo, C., and D.M., Reeves. 2008. Dependence of displacement-length scaling relations for fractures and deformation bands on the volumetric changes across them. Journal of Structural Geology 30, 1405-1411, doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2008.08.001

28. Soliva, R., and R. A. Schultz, 2008. Distributed and localized faulting in extensional settings : Insight from the North Ethiopian Rift¬Afar transition area, Tectonics, 27, TC2003, doi:10.1029/2007TC002148.

29. Soliva, R., Benedicto, A., Maerten., L., 2006. Spacing and linkage of confined faults : the importance of mechanical thickness. Journal of Geophysical Research 111, B01402, doi:10.1029/2004JB003507.

30. Soliva. R., Benedicto, A., Vergély, P. and T. Rives, 2005. Mechanical control of a lithological alternation on normal fault morphology, growth and reactivation. Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, 329-341.

31. Soliva, R., Schultz, R.A., Benedicto, A., 2005. Three-dimensional displacement-length scaling and maximum dimension in layered rocks. Geophysical Research Letters 32, doi:10.1029/2005GL023007.

32. Soliva, R., Benedicto, A., 2005. Geometry, scaling relations and spacing of vertically restricted normal faults. Journal of Structural Geology 27, 317-325.

33. Soliva, R., Benedicto, A., 2004. A linkage criterion for segmented normal faults. Journal of Structural Geology 12, 2251-2267.

34. Benedicto, A., Schultz, R. and Soliva, R. 2003. Layer thickness and the rectangular shape of faults. Geophysical Research Letters 30(20), 2076