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My current grad-students and some of their projects

Plaster experiments, with Signe Ottesen (Statoil), Tore Odinsen (Statoil), Eivind Bastesen and Atle Rotevatn

Plaster can be used to model different kinds of (mostly) brittle deformation in the laboratory. Three students have recently started to model within the three principal tectonic regimes; extension, contraction and strike-slip.

• Study fault geometries formed in the three different regimes
• Compare with real examples from outcrop and seismic data sets
• Explore the temporal development of structures in the different settings under different boundary conditions.
• Understand the range of likely and possible deformation styles in the three different regimes, from large- to small-scale structures.

YouTube movie of plaster experiment. Plaster people

Strike-slip model (Nov 13, 2013).

Extensional model.



Utah sandstone project I, with John Howell (U of Aberdeen)

The background for these theses is the fact that different sandstone units on the Colorado Plateau weather and fracture differently. Some form mesas with very steep (subvertical) cliffs, while others form more undulating and “soft” shapes with less steep slopes. We can quantify this in 2d by measuring slopes along traverses/profiles, or in 3d by means of digital elevation models. The differences in weathering and the way that the sandstones fracture are closely related. Some developed lots of fractures (joints) while others develop very few.

These studies will involve
•Comparing sedimentary facies
•Comparing fracture development
•Comparing diagenesis, burial depth, rock mechanical properties, grain size, grain size distribution etc.

Navajo Sst atop Wingate Sst. The Wingate fracture heavily, making steep cliffs while the Navajo erodes into more gentle landforms with less prominent fractures.

Moab Mbr showing systematic fracture pattern above much less-fractured Slickrock Sandstone near Moab.


Utah sandstone project II: contractional deformation of sandstone

• Structural mapping of thrust faults in the Entrada and Curtis Formati

Rifting, North Sea Rift

• Interpretation of seismic data and well information in order to understand the evolution and structural geometry of this rift at various scales.

seismic line


Ester CoblesEster Cobles: Structural and thermochronological study of the Lærdal-Gjende Fault near Lærdal, S Norway. (Main advisor: Anna Ksienzyk). MSc.

Ester Cobles Johannes Vik Seljebotten: Structural/mineralogical mapping of peridotite in Almklovdalen, Åheim. MSc.

Plaster experiments:

Margrethe Sæterdal Bøyum: Extensional regime. MSc.

Marie Djupevåg Eri: Contractional regime. MSc.

Maria Seim: Strike-slip regime (Main advisor: Atle Rotevatn). MSc.

Christine Andersen: Seismic modeling of faulted strata, based on plaster experiments (Main advisor: Tor Arne Johansen). MSc.

Renate Eimind Tveit: Plaster experiments (Main advisor: Atle Rotevatn). MSc.

Ingvild Blækkan: Plaster experiments (Main advisor: Atle Rotevatn). MSc.

Utah sandstone project I:

Linn Heienberg: Mineralogical and lithological controls on fracture patterns of selected arid continental deposits on the Colorado Plateau. With John Howell. MSc

Mette Lundberg: Mineralogy and weathering characteristics of selected Cretaceous shallow marine and paralic deposits of the Book Cliffs area, Colorado Plateau. With John Howell. MSc.

 Ragnhild Tunheim: Mineralogy and weathering characteristics of selected arid continental deposits of the Colorado Plateau. With John Howell.

Utah sandstone project II:

Marita Thommassen: Contractional deformation of sandstone. Project: COPS. MSc

Rifting, North Sea Rift:

Rosa Polanco-Ferrer: Northern North Sea rift system, with emphasis on the Tampen area. With Tore Odinsen and others, Statoil. Project: MultiRift. PhD.

Chao Deng (PhD, U of Bergen): North Sea Rift, modeling. Project: MultiRift. PhD.

Anette Broch Mathisen Tvedt: Salt tectonics (Main advisor: Atle Rotevatn). Project: SALTEC. PhD.

Antje Antje Lenhart: Tectono-stratigraphic evolution of multiphase rift basins. Main advisor: Christopher Jackson. Institution: Imperial College. Project: MultiRift. PhD.

Cleber Peralta: Sinai/Red Sea rift project, comparing the structural pattern in the basement with the rift-related fault pattern in the overlying sediments.

Flavio Almeida: Fault growth and fault interaction, northern North Sea. With Paul Whipp (Statoil). Project: Fault interaction.

Synne Skaar Ågotnes: Fault growth and fault interaction, northern North Sea. With Hamed Fazli Khani. Project: MultiRift. MSc.

Marte Refvem: Fault growth and fault interaction, northern North Sea. With Hamed Fazli Khani. Project: MultiRift. MSc

Heidi Knutsen: Deformation bands in chalk – control on distribution and mechanism of formation

Karoline Øvretveit: Depositional and structural relationships along the basement-Cambrian contact in the NW Hardangervidda - Hallingskeid area.

Deformation of porous sandstones:

Luisa Luisa Zuluaga: Contraction of porous sandstones (COPS). Project: COPS. PhD


Sand injection, Utsira Fm:

Elisa Elisa Christensen: Remobilization of sand, Utsira Formation, North Sea (Main advisor: Christian Hermanrud). MSc.


Martine Johnsen: Seismic hazards in the Bergen area (Main advisor: Mathilde Sørensen). MSc.