3D exploration of sedimentary basins in the context of energy transition : example of the Permo-Carboniferous Lorraine Basin - BRGM - Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2022

3D exploration of sedimentary basins in the context of energy transition : example of the Permo-Carboniferous Lorraine Basin

Romain Hemelsdaël
Salim Allouti
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1116779
Raymond Michels
Jacques Pironon


3D geological modelling is often completed in the industry and academic research to explore sedimentary basins, target underground resources, characterise reservoirs and understand controlling processes. 3D representation of sedimentary basins integrates surface geology, well data and geophysical data until 3D consistency is obtained at the local/regional scale. Here we illustrate how 3D models of sedimentary basins contribute to exploration of resources in the context of energy transition, including water and energy resources (methane, hydrogen, geothermal), reservoir/seal pairs reconnaissance for greenhouse gas limitation and energy storage. We present recent work on the Permo-Carboniferous Lorraine-Saar-Nahe Basin that developed during from about 320 to 260 Ma during the late Variscan orogeny. This basin is buried below the Mesozoic sedimentary cover in eastern France, but extends to the northeast in Germany where the Permo-Carboniferous continental succession (up to 6 km) reaches the surface. Despite the investigations for coal exploration during the last century, there is no consistent stratigraphic and tectonic history between French and German parts of the basin. In the frame of the DEEPSURF project, we benefit from digitalised well logs and reprocessed seismic data (BRGM, ANDRA). Seismic data, initially acquired by the petroleum industries, were reprocessed with modern algorithm and interpreted to better document the geometry of this buried basin. Our interpretations integrate recent concepts in tectonics and stratigraphy to decipher the regional kinematics of this intramountain basin that developed along the Rhenohercynian orogenic suture zone. We show evidences of negative tectonic inversion from the Westphalian compression and to Stephano-Permian extension at about 305 Ma. Such geological event is marked by a major unconformity, basin wide deposition of conglomerates, subaerial exposure and erosion. These features can be responsible for the formation of a good seal for the underlying fluids in the reservoirs. Moreover, we draw new limits for the major border faults to the northwest (Metz and South Hunsrück faults) and the basin is segmented by transverse faults, thus give birth to different sub-basins with different exposure and burial history. Constraint of fault geometry is a first-order prerequisite for deep geothermal exploration. Variations of subsidence rate generate different architectures of the sedimentary infill, which control the quality of the reservoirs, and potential for energy storage. The overall 3D understanding of sedimentary basins is essential before integration of additional data such as heat distribution through time, fluid generation/migration and sediments burial history. Finally, we point out that the context of energy transition regarding subsurface exploration use the same approach as for the petroleum exploration. The access of data from former petroleum/mining investigations with the use of modern techniques and geological concepts, bring a significant reassessment for future basin resources.


Earth Sciences
No file

Dates and versions

hal-03794710 , version 1 (05-01-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-03794710 , version 1


Romain Hemelsdaël, Salim Allouti, Laurent Beccaletto, Olivier Averbuch, Raymond Michels, et al.. 3D exploration of sedimentary basins in the context of energy transition : example of the Permo-Carboniferous Lorraine Basin. DEEPSURF 2022, Oct 2022, Nancy, France. ⟨hal-03794710⟩
32 View
0 Download


Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More