Geodynamics & Geofluids Research Group at the K.U.Leuven
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Geodynamics & Geofluids Research Group

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The Geodynamics & Geofluids Research Group integrates the research efforts of members of the research units Geo- and cosmochemistry, Ore geology and geofluids, Sedimentpetrology and environmental geochemistry and Structural geology and tectonics.


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The research primarily concerns the processes that occur in the dynamic geosphere. The engine of these processes, that can be related in a continental environment with the development and evolution of sedimentary basins and mountain chains, is confined in the paradigm of plate tectonics. In the middle and upper crust fluids play a paramount role in these geodynamic processes, such as diagenetic, low-grade metamorphic, magmatic and deformation processes, ore genesis, and migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons. The current research efforts focus on an integrated structural, petrographical, mineralogical and geochemical approach of the development and evolution of sedimentary basins, fold-and-thrust belts and slate belts.
The relationship between the geodynamic evolution and the migration patterns of fluids is currently investigated in the Proterozoic and Palaeozoic mountain ranges in Europe and Africa. In Central Africa research is performed on the Cu-Co stratifrom and vein type Cu-Zn-Pb(-Ag) deposits in the Central African Copperbelt (DRC, Zambia), and on the vein type W-Sn-Au deposits in Ruanda. In the Palaoezoic Variscan orogen in Central Europe particular attention is paid to the overall geodynamic significance of slate belts. Research focuses on the cleavage development, the interaction between fluids and deformation in the brittle-ductile transition zone, and the influence of the sediment architecture on the subsequent deformation history. These objectives are pursued in the early Palaeozoic slate belts in the Ardenne-Brabant area (Belgium, France), the late Palaeozoic slate belt in the Ardenne-Eifel area (Belgium, Germany) and in Brittany (France). In foreland fold-and-thrust belts and orogenic forelands, where hydrocarbon reservoirs are present (e.g. Albania, Sicily, Mexico, Oman, Pakistan), the effects of ‘dynamic diagenesis’ on the evolution of hydrocarbon reservoirs is studied. Particular attention is paid to the evolution of the reservoir characteristics during the evolution of the fold-and-thrust belts and their foreland with respect to the processes involved (e.g. dolomitization, authigenic clay development, secondary porosity).

Members of the research group are also involved in geoarchaeological research. Research also concerns archaeoseismological work, integrating evidence for palaeoearthquakes on archaeological sites in the reconstruction of the seismotectonic history of a region with the intention to integrate archaeoseismology into seismic hazard assesments. Archaeoseismological work is performed in the Eastern Mediterranean region (e.g. SW Turkey in the framework of the interdisciplinary Sagalassos project, Crete).

Current research projects
The geodynamics of slate belts
Reconstructions of fluid system evolution in a wrench tectonic setting. Implications for the geodynamic history of Central Armorica, Brittany, France
Hydraulic fracturing in the Lower Paleozoic Ardenne-Eifel basin. Kinematics and geodynamic implications.
Metallogenesis of stratiform copper deposits in the Lufilian orogen, Democratic Republic Congo.
Metallogenesis of vein-type Cu-Zn-Pb-Ag ore deposits in the Lufilian fold-and-thrust belt and its foreland (DRC)
Pobiti Kamani - Eocene cold seep system (Varna, Bulgaria); a study of fluid migration and carbonate diagenesis through time
Method development for interdisciplinary isotopic research via multi-collector ICP - mass spectrometry.
High resolution Sr-Rb and Pb isotope geochemistry: Applications in geological and archeometric research.


Academic staff

Hertogen, Jan
Muchez, Philippe
Sintubin, Manuel
Swennen, Rudy



PhD students

Berwouts, Isaac
De Boever Eva
De Cock, Helena
De Clercq Friso
El Desouky, Hamdy
Haest, Maarten
Horckmans, Karolien
Van Baelen, Hervé
Van Noten, Koen

Kipata, Louis

Master students

Boeckx, Ellen
Brems, Dieter
H’Haen, Koen
Godfroid, Janharm
Huijskens, Kris
Meyvis, Bruno
Vanstraelen, Annelies


Associate & former members

Niclaes, Marian

Similox-Tohon, Dominique (Midland Valley, UK)
van Noorden, Michiel (Badley Geoscience, UK)
Verhaert, Griet (VITO)
Kenis, Ilse (McKinsey, Belgium)


Some recent publications

An overview of the most recent and representative publications of the research group can be found on the following web page.

A complete publication list can be found on the following web page.


The members of the research group are involved in the teaching of different courses in the Dutch bachelor program in Geology.
They organise a two-year master program in Geodynamics & Geofluids (in Dutch). The philosophy within the geodynamics & Geofluids specialisation field is based on field studies, aiming at integrating different sub-disciplines (structural geology, ore genesis, diagenesis & metamorphism, magmatism), without losing the aim towards applied and socio-economic relevancy. That is why multiple courses are related to actual problems from the every-day economic and social reality.
In the English two-year master program in Geology, members of the research group organise the following courses:




For more information, please contact Philippe Muchez.

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