Aktuelle Projekte

Discrimination of Induced and Natural Fractures in Deep Boreholes (DINaF)

The DINAF project focuses on the analysis of rock fractures detected in boreholes and on the development of discrimination criteria of fracture types for numerous subsurface applications.

Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of clay minerals in reservoir sandstones and seal rocks (cooperation with OMV)

Clay minerals have a significant impact on chemical reactions happening during production operations, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and storage projects in the E&P industry. The exact clay mineralogy of various reservoir and seal rocks where EOR and/or storage projects are planned is currently not known to the necessary detail. This causes a significant uncertainty for geochemical modelling. Depending on the chemistry of the clay minerals, exchange reactions, leading to changes in the mineral phase composition, are possible. A detailed investigation on the type of encountered clay minerals is essential to understand these cross-reactions which can lead to a pore size reduction and decrease of permeability.  Both “fresh” samples and samples, that have been stored in core stores for longer periods of time are used for this study.

FFG Bridge 2021: Evaporit-Tektonik und Paläogeografie der Alpen des Salzkammerguts (ETAPAS)

Das Ziel des Projekts ETAPAS ist das geologische Verständnis des Salzkammerguts und der nördlichen Kalkalpen mit modernen Konzepten der Salztektonik zu überarbeiten. Es soll ein integriertes geologisches Modell entwickelt werden, das die geologischen Beobachtungen der letzten Jahrzehnte berücksichtigt.

Anisian Carbonate Reservoir Property Project [ACRP Project] (cooperation with OMV)

This project, funded by OMV E & P, investigates Middle Triassic carbonates in the eastern part of the Northern Calcareous Alps. The project aims at unravelling stratigraphy and structures of the Anisian platforms and basins, such as the Steinalm, Annaberg and Reifling formations, Mag. Michael Moser is included into this PhD project on the Mid-Triassic carbonate platforms.

UNESCO/IUGS-IGCP 732 - LANGUAGE of the Anthropocene

The International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Council chose “LANGUAGE”, a knowledge network of geological signals for the Anthropocene, as one of 18 new global UNESCO Earth sciences project. Plastic waste, radioactive fallout, concrete or a new global species extinction event in geological sediments: The Anthropocene, the geological epoch of global human impact on Earth, is associated with many different markers. The project seeks to unite different forms of knowledge about the Anthropocene, as well as approaches how to manage this novel planetary crisis in a sustainable way. Perspectives of developing countries and the voices of female scientists and indigenous communities are an integral part of this interdisciplinary global project. The project is funded by UNESCO and the International Research Programs of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

UNESCO/IUGS IGCP 710– Non-marine – marine correlation and sea-level changes in the Mid-Jurassic Tethys (Pangea breakup): Tectonic versus climate events

This project is part of the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) of UNESCO and IUGS (International Union of Geosciences), framework project IGCP710 " Western Tethys meets Eastern Tethys – geodynamical, palaeoceanographical and palaeobiogeographical events". The focuse of the Austrian sub-project is on stratigraphic and tectonic correlations of Jurassic and Cretaceous events, especially for the Mid-Jurassic, from northern Africa ro Pakistan and China, funded by the International Research Programs of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

BrasCretOst I – Revision and integration of applied taxonomy of non-marine ostracods of the Buracica, Jiquiá and Alagoas local stages

This project is a service contract funded by PETROBRAS (Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.) with Dr. Benjamin Sames as PI and executing researcher. The aim is the revision of Lower Cretaceous ostracods (microcrustaceans) of the Brazilian Pre-Salt deposits for reasons of their improved application.

From Romans to the Anthropocene, from Carnuntum to Vienna: An Urban Anthropocene Field Lab (WWTF ESR20-027)

Landscapes and urban anthropogenic sediments from Roman times to today are growing and expanding from former Roman cities like Carnuntum to and from today’s large city of Vienna. Markers like trace metals and microplastic may indicate a stratigraphy of anthropogenic sediments in the study area.

The Anthropocene Surge - evolution, expansion and depth of Vienna’s urban environment

The project looks at the growth of anthropogenic influence in the urban environments of Vienna and it surroundings by applying classifications of anthropogenic sediments, evaluating geometry and topography, 3D models, geochemical methods to characterize the Anthropocene and historical maps.

Alpine Stress: Active Tectonics and Recent Stress at the Front of the Eastern Alps

This project focuses on the analysis of the current geodynamics in the northern Eastern Alps and their foreland by investigating recent stresses and active deformation at the leading edge of the Alpine fold-thrust belt.

Rheology of eclogites: Comparison of high pressure-temperature deformation experiments and natural examples

In this project we will study the rheological behaviour and microstructural evolution of eclogites composed of omphacite and garnet in varying fractions and in different strain, strain rate, pressure and temperature conditions.

Low-grade metamorphic units in the Eastern Alps: An important tectonic transition zone

A large share of the exposed crust in the Eastern Alps consists of LGM units in tectonic key positions at top and bottom of the Eo-Alpine extrusion wedge. Understanding the processes occurring there has a major impact on our comprehension of the evolution of the whole orogen, however, no modern P-T-t-D data is known for this part so far.

Active tectonics and recent dynamics of micro-displacements along major fault systems of the Eastern Alps registered in caves (SPELEOTECT)

This study aims on providing the first comprehensive and detailed assessment of the Quaternary tectonic activity and recent dynamics of micro-displacements along major fault systems of the Eastern Alps registered in caves.

Crevassing, Thrusting and Folding in Alpine Glaciers: Quantitative Field Analysis and Mechanical Modelling

The aim of this project is to bridge the gap between Structural Geology and Glaciology and to gain insights into the geometry and mechanical genesis of common glacier structures by means of detailed field studies on Austria’s largest glacier and state-of-the-art computer simulations.

Fold-and-Thrust Structures in the Northern Calcareous Alps: Quantitative Analysis at the Alpine Front

The Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) represent a fold-and-thrust belt that has undergone polyphase deformation at the northern front of the Eastern Alps. This project is focused on the development of fold-and-thrust structures in the foothills of the central NCA, where the lowermost tectonic units were thrust on the foreland basin.

Phosphatic stromatolites within black shales from the Devonian – Carboniferous transition, Rheinisches Schiefergebirge, Germany 

Phosphatic stromatolites are unusual microbial fossils in the rock record.
These fossil microbiota are known from the Proterozoic to the Phanerozoic, and occur in multitudes of morphologies such as oncoid, cone-like stromatolites, domal stromatolites, and microstromatolites. A yet unknown occurrence of these unique fossils is currently under investigation from black shales deposited during the Devonian – Carboniferous transition in Central Germany.

Putative fossilized sulfur oxidizing bacteria from Devonian cold seeps, Morocco

The colorless sulfide-oxidizing bacteria are important agents in the marine sulfur cycle, and may have been so since the Precambrian.
The genera Thiomargerita, Thioploca, and Beggiatoa are all members of the colorless sulfur-oxidizing bacteria, and are among the largest unicellular organisms known on Earth. Today, these bacteria inhabit shallow seafloor sediments where their metabolism couples the carbon, sulfur and nitrogen cycles.

Neoproterozoic carbonate – clastic sequences of Death Valley, USA

The sedimentary record of the Pahrump Group in Death Valley comprises massive, well-exposed successions of carbonate and clastic deposits. The Tonian to Cryogenian strata represent world-class examples of microbial carbonates deposited in the lead up to, and during Earth’s emergence from, Snowball Earth events, thus chronicling one of the most debated and arguably important events in Earth History. 
Multiple cycles of small and large-scale carbonate – clastic sequences within the Neoproterozoic Horse Thief Springs Formation are composed of stromatolitic dolostone beds sandwiched between cross-bedded strata featuring ripple marks, trough-cross beds, and chertified ooid horizons.

Neoproterozoic carbonate – clastic sequences of Namibia

Neoproterozoic sedimentary successions, such as those from Death Valley, share unusual stratigraphic features such as the occurrence of distinctive glacial deposits related to high-frequency intercalations between carbonate and clastic sequences.
The Otavi Group from the Otavi Fold Belt in Namibia features large-scale well-exposed deposits that record the two largest episodes of glaciation in the Neoproterozoic. Specifically, the pre-glacial successions that led up to the largest glacial episodes in Earth history are still poorly understood.

Abgeschlossene Projekte

UNESCO/IUGS IGCP 661 – Fossil Blue Holes, the karst critical zone, and Greenhouse Palaeoclimate

This project is part of the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) of UNESCO and IUGS (International Union of Geosciences), framework project IGCP661 "Global comparative research on structure, substance cycle and environment sustainability of the critical zone in karst systems". The theme of the Austrian sub-project is on “Evolution of fossil blue hole limestones and the critical zone in a greenhouse world”, funded by International research programs of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Distinct Element Method (DEM) modelling of the growth of salt swells: implications for the mechanical genesis of structural traps controlled by the flow of a mobile (viscous) substratum

The two years project SaltTecDEM, funded by Statoil ASA, will explore the growth of salt swells and resulting overburden deformation by means of Distinct Element Method (DEM) modelling.

Detrital Composition of Siliciclastics (cooperation with OMV)

The aim of the project, funded by OMV E & P, is to analyze the stratigraphic and spatial changes in mineralogical composition of (reservoir) sandstones and seal rocks like shales and marlstones in sedimentary basins. The project aims at integrated provenance studies including a data base and evaluation of various factors influencing the composition of clastic rocks such as surface and subsurface processes. Special emphasis is on the influence of climate on weathering of rocks, clay mineral formation and evolution, and diagenetic processes.

3D seismic fault mapping of the Nördlich Lägern cube in the Constance–Frick Trough, Northern Switzerland

The research project focuses on seismic mapping of Upper Palaeozoic faults in Nagra’s 3D-seismic block NL-16 covering the siting region ‘Nördlich Lägern’.  The interpretation of the seismic data leads to a better understanding of the regional tectono-stratigraphic history and aids the risk-assessment of fault zones adjacent to the potential deep geological repository.

UNESCO/IUGS IGCP 609 - Project on sea-level changes in a greenhouse climate

The International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) of UNESCO and IUGS (International Union of Geosciences) funded the five year project IGCP609 on "Climate-environmental deteriorations during greenhouse phases: Causes and consequences of short-term Cretaceous sea-level changes".

Cyclostratigraphy and the astronomical time scale for the Tethyan Campanian (Late Cretaceous)

The proposed project addresses cyclostratigraphy and a floating astronomical time scale for the Campanian stage, based on four continuous cyclic limestone-marl records in the Tethys, i.e. two sections in Austria and two sections in Turkey.

Regional Tectonics, Sedimentation and Chronology of the Molasse Basin in Eastern Austria (OMV Molasse Project)

The Molasse project focuses on Lower Miocene reservoir sands in the eastern Molasse Basin of Lower Austria: the Eggenburgian sands (Eggenburg Group; Eggenburgian stage, Early Miocene) and the Oncophora beds (Traisen Formation, late Ottnangian, Early Miocene).
Integrated methods will be used including sedimentology, stratigraphy, sedimentary petrology, seismic interpretation and structural geology.

Middle Triassic Carbonate reservoir rocks [Mid-Triassic Project] (cooperation with OMV)

This project, funded by OMV E & P, investigates Middle Triassic carbonates at the eastern margin of the Northern calcareous Alps and the subcrop of the Vienna Basin (Austria). The project aims at stratigraphy and structures of the Northern Calcareous Alps in the light of platform-to-basin facies models and new ideas on pervasive salt tectonism. Mag. Michael Moser works especially on a structural transect at the easternmost outcrop analogues to buried structural reservoirs.