Relationship between water transfer and plastic deformation: the case study of quartz mylonites

Advisors: Hugues Raimbourg; Holger Stünitz
Place: Institut des Sciences de La Terre, Orléans University

While the role of water to enhance the plastic deformation of a quartz aggregate has been experimentally demonstrated over the last 50 years, the converse relationship, i.e. how plastic/brittle deformation may redistribute the water in the grain interiors and boundaries, is still enigmatic, although it plays a major role on water transfer across crustal depths.

To study these processes, we will deform experimentally natural quartz aggregates and analyze the distribution of water in the final deformed state. The focus shall be the discrimination of water content in grain interiors (with µ-IR apparatus, Raman spectroscopy) and in the grain boundary region in order to determine a potential "water storage capacity" in both types of microstructures and linked it to the structural state of H2O (channels-and-islands, thin films, disseminated aggregates, structurally bound water, etc…).

Using these experimental data of water storage and kinetics of water transfer, we shall model analytically and numerically the potential of crustal-scale shear zones to transfer efficiently water through the lithosphere.

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with interests in microstructures, deformation processes, mineralogy, and fluid-rock interaction. Preference will be given to candidates with documented previous experience in microstructural analysis, various micro-beam techniques, or EBSD-analysis.

The successful applicant will work in an interdisciplinary team of structural geologists, experimentalists, modelers, and spectroscopists in Orléans and at partner institutions in Norway, Switzerland.

Qualified individuals need to have a MSc-degree in Geosciences at the time of appointment. The appointment will be for a period of 3 years and is available from October 2017 onwards.

Further enquiries about the position should be addressed to Hugues Raimbourg or Holger Stunitz (, The deadline for the application is the 31st of May 2017. The application should be submitted electronically to Hugues Raimbourg.

posted: 27 April 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.