Thibault Cavailhes

… is senior structural geologist (PhD) currently affiliated to the UMR CNRS 5805 EPOC – OASU. He is a geologist with over 10 years experience as a consultant (Badley-Ashton), as an expert in structural geology thanks to a successful operator (DNO asa) and as an academic researcher/lecturer (UMR 5805). He is a specialist of faulting, fracturing, deformation mechanims and fluid-rock interactions (structural diagenesis) of the earth rocks from the surface to the 300°C -450°C isotherms (10-15 km).

CNRS: Centre National de la Recherches Scientifique; UMR: Unité Mixte de Recherche; OASU: Observatoire Aquitain des Sciences de l’Univers; EPOC: Environnements et paléoenvironnements Océaniques et Continentaux.

« I fell in love with the geology of the French Alps, near  Chantemerle (Serre-Chevalier) and I have obtained my PhD in structural geology and petrophysics in Montpellier (France) where I was born. Sketching my first outcrops nearby the Pic-Saint-Loup was a lovely geological start …

Some peer-reviewed publications:

T. Mulder, T. Cavailhes, V. Hanquiez, H. Gillet, A. Recouvreur, N. Fabregas; Giant deep submarine depressions: A combined dissolution-mechanical process along carbonate margins. GSA Bulletin 2022; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B36142.1

Cavailhes T., Gillet, H., Guiastrennec-Faugas, L., Mulder, T., & Hanquiez, V. (2022). The abyssal giant sinkholes of the Blake Bahama Escarpment: evidence of focused deep-ocean carbonate dissolution. Geomorphology, 108058, 10.1016/j.geomorph.2021.108058

Le Goff J., Recouvreur A., Reijmer J.J.G., Mulder T., Ducassou E., Perello M.C., Hanquiez V., Gillet H., Cavailhes T., Fabregas N. (2021) Linking carbonate sediment transfer to seafloor morphology: Insights from Exuma Valley, the Bahamas, Sedimentology, 68(2), 609-638, doi: 10.1111/sed.12794.

Gay A., Favier A., Potdevin J.L., Lopez M., Bosch D., Tribollard N., Ventalon S., Cavailhes T., Neumaier M., Revillon S., Trave A., Bruguier O., Delmas D., Nevado C. (2020) Poly-phased fluid flow in the giant fossil pockmark of Beauvoisin, SE France, Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, Earth Sciences Bulletin, 191, 23-35, doi: 10.1051/bsgf/2020036.

Van Vliet-Lanoe B., Bergerat F., Allemand P., Innocentd C., Guillou H., Cavailhes T., Gumundsson A., Chazot G., Schneider J.L., Grandjean P., Liorzou C., Passot S. (2020) Tectonism and volcanism enhanced by deglaciation events in southern Iceland, Quaternary Research, 94, 94-120, doi: 10.1017/qua.2019.68.

Le Goff J., Reijmer J.J.G., Cerepi A., Loisy C., Swennen R., Heba G., Cavailhes T., De Graaf S. (2019) The dismantling of the Apulian carbonate platform during the late Campanian – early Maastrichtian in Albania, Cretaceous Research, 96, 83-106, doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2018.11.013.

Mulder T., Gillet H., Hanquiez V., Reijmer J.J.G., Droxler A.W., Recouvreur A., Fabregas N., Cavailhes T., Fauquembergue K., Blank D.G., Guiastrennec-Faugas L., Seibert C., Bashah S., Bujan S., Ducassou E., Principaud M., Conesa G., Le Goff J., Ragusa J., Busson J., Borgomano J. (2019) Into the deep: A coarse-grained carbonate turbidite valley and canyon in ultra-deep carbonate setting, Marine Geology, 407, 316-333, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2018.11.003.

Castelle B., Brander R.W., Tellier E., Simonnet B., Scott T., McCarroll J., Campagne, J.M., Cavailhes T., Lechevrel P. (2018) Surf zone hazards and injuries in SW France, Natural Hazards , 93, 1317-1335, doi: 10.1007/s11069-018-3354-4.

Cavailhes T., Rotevatn R. (2018) Deformation bands in volcaniclastic rocks – Insights from the Shihtiping tuffs, Coastal Range of Taiwan, Journal of Structural Geology, 113, 155-175, doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2018.06.004.

Cavailhes T., Rotevatn A., Monstad M., Khala A.B., Funk E., Canner K., Losser M., Chalabi A., Gay A., Trave A.,Ferhi F., Skanji R.M., Chebbi R.M., Bang N. (2018) Basin tectonic history and paleo-physiography of the Pelagian Platform, northern Tunisia, using vitrinite reflectance data, Basin Research, 30, 926-941, doi: 10.1111/bre.12287.

Mulder T., Gillet H., Hanquiez V., Ducassou E., Fauquembergue K., Principaud M., Conesa G., Le Goff J., Ragusa J., Bashah S., Bujan S., Reijmer J.J.G., Cavailhes T., Droxler A.W., Blank D.G., Guiastrennec-Faugas L., Fabregas N., Recouvreur A., Seibert C. (2018) Carbonate slope morphology revealing a giant submarine canyon (Little Bahama Bank, Bahamas), Geology, 46, 31-34, doi: 10.1130/G39527.1.

Gay A., Cavailhes T., Grauls D., Marsset B., Marsset T. (2017) Repeated fluid expulsions during events of rapid sea-level rise in the Gulf of Lion, western Mediterranean Sea, Bulletin de la Societe Geologique de France, Volume special en l’honneur de G. Clauzon, prix Fontannes 2007, doi: 10.1051/bsgf/2017190.

Buatier M., Cavailhes T., Charpentier D., Lerat J., Sizun J.P., Labaume P., Gout C. (2015) Evidence of multi-stage faulting by clay mineral analysis: Example in a normal fault zone affecting arkosic sandstones (Annot sandstones), Journal of Structural Geology, 75, 101-117, doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2015.03.012.

Monnier D., Gay A., Imbert P., Cavailhes T., Soliva R., Lopez M. (2015) Sand injectites network as marker of the palaeo-stress field, the structural framework and the distance to the sand source : example in the Vocontian Basin, SE France, Journal of Structural Geology, 79, 1-18., doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2015.07.001.

Cavailhes T., Labaume P., Sizun J.P., Soliva R., Gout C., Potdevin J.L., Buatier M., Gay A., Chauvet A., Charpentier D., Trave A. (2014) Difference in petrophysical properties between foliated and dilatant fault rocks in deeply buried clastics: The case of the Grès d’Annot Formation, SW French Alps, Terra Nova, 26, 298-306, doi: 10.1111/ter.12100.

Kars M., Aubourg C., Labaume P., Berquo T., Cavailhes T. (2014) Burial diagenesis of magnetic minerals: new insights from the Grès d’Annot transect (SE France), Minerals, 4, doi: 10.3390/min40x000x.

Cavailhes T., Sizun J.P., Labaume P., Chauvet A., Buatier B., Soliva R., Mezri L., Charpentier D., Leclere H., Trave A., Gout C. (2013) Influence of fault rock foliation on fault zone permeability: The case of deeply buried arkosic sandstones (Grès d’Annot, southeastern France), AAPG Bulletin, 97, 1521-1543, doi: 10.1306/03071312127.

Cavailhes T., Soliva R., Labaume P., Wibberley C., Sizun J.P., Gout C., Charpentier D., BuaTier M. (2013) Phyllosilicates formation in faults rocks: Implications for dormant fault-sealing potential and fault strength in the upper crust, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 1-7., doi: 10.1002/grl.50829.

Leclère H., Buatier M., Charpentier D., Sizun J.P., Labaume P., Cavailhes T. (2012) Formation of phyllosilicates in a fault zone affecting deeply buried arkosic sandstones: their influence on petrophysic properties (Annot sandstones, French external Alps), Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 105, 299-312, doi: 10.1007/s00015-012-0099-z.

Ballas G., Soliva R., Sizun J.P., Benedicto A., Cavailhes T., Raynaud S. (2012) The importance of the degree of cataclasis in shear bands for fluid flow in porous sandstone, Provence, France, AAPG Bulletin, 96, 2167-2186, doi: 10.1306/03071312127.

Selected field works and research cruises

2022 – 07 – Asturies – Spain – Relations between faulting, fracturing, dolines location and dissolution processes in a carbonate reservoir.

2022-01- Cycladic Islands – Research cruise proposal (10 days) Physiography and Geology of the Milos Gulf (PGG Milos) – Bathymetric and seismic acquisition

2022-06- Greece – Tectonic markers in offshore/onshore volcanic rift systems (Back-arc in continental crust)

2021-09 – Greece – Tectonics in volcaniclastics and fault seal analysis

2019-09 – Spain – Relations between Bakio salt diapir and hydrothermal circulation.

2019-04-Japan – Understanding the faulting processes in porous volcaniclastic rocks

2018-07-India – Ladakh, Karakorum fault – Earthquake Geology

2017-12-Taiwan – Coastal Range – Faulting in volcaniclastic rocks. Implications on reservoir properties

2017- 01- BahamasScientific Cruise (20 days) – CARAMBAR 2.0 – Carbonate Geology – Bathymetric and seismic acquisition

2016-12- Taiwan – Coastal Range –Deformation bands in pyroclastic rocks

2016-07- Iceland – Tectonic on controls on Jokulhlaup watersheds

2016-06/07- Lesser Antilles – IPGP – Scientific Cruise (40 days) – Earthquakes in subduction zones – Bathymetric and seismic acquisition

2015-12-Taiwan – Coastal Range – Deformation bands in volcaniclastic rocks

2015-04-Canadian Rockies – Tectonics and structural traps in Foreland basins

2014-12-Tunisia, Tectonic deformation analysis i.e. folds, faults and fracturing:  Tracking the salt tectonics involvement and balanced cross-section building.

2014-11-New Zealand, Active Alpine Fault outcrop analysis near 2014 ICDP drilling.

2014-10-Oman, structural analysis of brittle deformations (field and cores).

2014-09-Tunisia, structural analysis of the Pelagian Platform, Vitrinite sampling, Fluid-inclusion, O-C isotopes of fracture cementation/host rock.

2014-09-USA, Wyoming, Structural characterization of thin-skinned vs thick-skinned tectonics:  Implications on fluid- transfer scale in the Upper crust (Petroleum systems)

2014-04-Oman, Structural analysis of an onshore field in extensional settings. Data integration in order to optimize the 2D seismic survey shooting.

2014-03-Tunisia, Structural characterization of an onshore filed in compressive setting: Integrating seismic data with field data.   Methodology building in order to characterize the pressure, the temperature, the chemistry of burial, faulting, mineralization and dissolution.

2013-11-Irak, Kurdistan, Structural description, cross-section building, static fracture model building. Petroleum geology. Characterization of active surface oil seeps along faults and pull-aparts.

2013-01/04-United Arab Emirates, Structural description and sampling of Calcite/Gypsum fault mineralization in Al Ain.

2012-10-Lanzarote, Mantle xenolith sampling for textural characterization of Spinelle Peridotites.

2009/2012-France, Structural/microstructural characterization and petrophysical properties of fault rocks, Argentera, French Alps.

2011-09-Taiwan, Morphotectonic, structural, sedimentary and petrologic characterization of the Central range/Longitudinal Valley and Coastal Range.

2010-09-Corsica, Morphotectonic, structural, sedimentary and petrologic characterization of the alpine deformations.

2009-02/07-France, Structural analysis and petrophysical characterization of the faulted porous sandstones in Provence. Implications for redox propagation (Uranium ores).

2008-02/07-France, Structural characterization of the faults and paleo-seismites affecting the Cuisian lacustrine deposits of Languedoc.

2007-02/07France, Textural and petrologic characterization of late-Variscan granitoids in relation with their metamorphism aureole.

Selected structural core analysis:

2016-06 CASEIS gravity cores analysis, Scientific cruise in the Lesser Antilles led by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris.

2015-02 London & Tunisia, structural analysis of fractured carbonates of petroleum systems of Tunisia (Sfax).

2015-01: London & Tunisia, structural analysis of fractured carbonates of petroleum systems of Tunisia (Sfax)

2014-12 Ras Al Khaima, structural analysis of fractured carbonates of transtensive anticlines of  Ras Al Khaima offshore (depth 4500 m).

2014-07 Oman, structural analysis of fractured carbonates of transtensive anticlines of Oman.

2014-01 Irak, Structural analysis of the fractured carbonates related to the onshore anticlines in Kurdistan (Benenan field).

2013-12 Kurdistan, Structural analysis of the fractured carbonates related to the onshore anticlines in Kurdistan (Tawke field).

2013-09 Germany, Structural analysis of triasic sandstones of the Rhénan Graben (GDF Suez)

2013-05/06 United Arab Emirates, Structural analysis of fractured grainstones, mudstones and layered anhydrites/mudstones of the Arab Formation, Shah Field, (Al Hosn Gas).

2013-04 USA, Houston, structural analysis of the Miocene-aged reservoirs of the Gulf of Mexico and regional integration; evidences for deformation bands controls on fluids trapping. (BP)

2013-01 United Arab Emirates, Structural analysis of fractured grainstones, mudstones and layered anhydrites/mudstones of the Arab Formation, Shah Field, (Al Hosn Gas).

2013-01 Irak, Structural analysis of the fractured carbonates related to the onshore anticlines in Kurdistan (Erbil Region).

2012-12 United Arab Emirates, Structural analysis of fractured grainstones, mudstones and layered anhydrites/mudstones of the Arab Formation, Shah Field, (Al Hosn Gas).

Available field trips (on request):


FRANCE – Faulting in deeply buried clastic succession: Architecture, deformation mechanisms and petrophysical properties.

FRANCE – Deformation bands in sandstone and implications on fluid-flow.

SPAIN – Understanding and predicting dolines/sinkholes location at the seismic-scale.

GREECE – Normal faulting in porous volcaniclastics: Implications for regional geology and fluid-flow.

TAIWAN – Strike-slip and reverse faulting in volcaniclastics: Implications for regional geology and fluid-flow.