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Geosciences facility

Our Geosciences facility houses all the scientific equipment used for Research & Development and training programs in earth sciences.

 

This integrated scientific facility hosts the multidisciplinary teams that work with industrialists in the geophysics, seismology, geology, rock mechanics, mineralogy, geomaterials and hydrogeology sectors.

Research areas
  • Study of clay as applied to natural hazards,
  • Determining the illite Crystallinity Index Standard (low temperature diagenesis and metamorphism),
  • Mineralogical study as applied to sand used in foundry operations,
  • Mineralogical study of impairment profiles,
  • Study of differential settlement of terrestrial and marine soils (soil mechanics),
  • Microfaciological oil analyses,
  • Geophysical and hydrogeological studies.

 

Research is also linked to two geology research teams:

  • B2R, which studies the development of sedimentary basins, formed several million years ago, as they can be used to predict the development of current systems and their potential in terms of natural resources,
  • HydrISE, which studies mineral transfer to surface environments, from the rock to surface and underground waters, via the soil/plant system.
Key technical equipment

Rocks and materials

  • (Flame and oven) atomic absorption spectrometry (proportion of major elements in liquid samples),
  • ICP-OES (proportion of minor elements in liquid samples),
  • ICP-MS (proportion of trace elements in liquid samples),
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), observation of samples with up to 300,000x magnification; in combination with EDX microanalysis for determining constituent elements for the following applications —
    • Chemical mapping of the distribution of elements on sample surfaces (viewing of material zonation potential),
      Identification of inclusions on the surface or in the bulk of materials,
    • Identification of qualitative or semi-quantitative chemical composition,
    • Examination of cross sections (determination of nature).
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD) (rapid identification of most crystalline solids):
    • on powder —  identification of the main phases present,
    • on oriented cluster — identification of clay minerals.
    • Laser particle size analysis (quasi-continuous particle size distribution),
    • Rock section preparation facility (production of thin sections of polished or unpolished rock with or without impregnation on rocks, soft [unconsolidated] sediment or powders),
  • Optical research microscopy,
  • Washing and sorting of sediments, granulometric columns.

Geophysics

  • Multi-electrode resistivity meter,
  • Geological radar,
  • Refraction experiments,
  • Dual-sensor magnetometers,
  • Geophysical imaging.

Hydrogeology

  • Well logging probes,
  • Resistivity meters and accessories,
  • Pygmy current meters,
  • Piezometric probes.

Geotechnics

  • Screening, sedimentation analysis,
  • Calcimetry, volumetric mass density and MBV,
  • Atterberg and shrinkage limit tests,
  • Vane tester, penetrometer,
  • Odometer, triaxial and shear box instruments.
We are proud to work with

ANTEA, ARCELOR MITTAL, AREVA, BEICIP FRANLAB, BRGM, CDP CONSULTING, CEMEX, Val d’Oise Departmental Council, EDF, EQIOM, ERAMET, EUROVIA, FUGRO, GEOSERVICES, IFP SCHOOL, IMERYS, INERIS, INRA, INTERCOMPETENCES, IRD, Montupet S.A, RTE, SAFEGE, SEMOFI, SIBELCO, TECHNOSOL, TOTAL E.P., VEOLIA.