TERA «Fluids, transport and reactivity»

The TERA team studies the dynamics of fluids and transport phenomena, as well as their coupling to geochemical and microbiological processes, which have been traditionally studied by another scientific community. The general objective is to study the coupled processes of complex flows, reactive transport, and microbiological activity occurring at the micro-scale, and to characacterize their impact on the dynamics of environmental systems at large temporal and spatial scales.

TERA relies on several assets :

                • Numerous interdisciplinary collaborations within OSUR (Earth and Universe Observatory of Rennes) and with renown research groups in France and abroad.

                • Novel experimental setups and techniques set up progressively in the last 9 years within the previous DIMENV (« Dynamics, Imaging and Modeling of Environmental Systems ») ; these setups will be further developed within TERA in the years to come.

                • The development of observatories of the critical zone, to which severale reaserchers of TERA  have been contributing for many years (> 20 years for some of them).


Academic staff

Permanent members can be involved in several teams. Their percentage of involvement in TERA are indicated for each.

Technical staff

PhD Student and Post-doctoral position

Scientific topics

  • Thermal dynamics of the Earth’s crust
  • Deep microbial and reactive hotspots
  • Deep dissolution storage of CO2
  • Geothermy
  • Complex fluid flows in subsurface permeable media
  • Hydrothermal systems
  • Dynamics of river-aquifer interfaces

These topics can be grouped within three main domains of studies:

  • Fluid and reactivity dynamics
  • Physics of transport
  • Geophysical systems and instabilities

Collaboration with other teams at Géosciences Rennes and with other institutes at UR1 :

projects (ongoing)

  • European projects :
    •  ITN  COPERMIX (2021-2025)
    • ERC CHORUS  (2023-2027)
    • 4 projects post-doctoral MSCA : XXX , CO2seq (2022-2024)
    • 2 projects post-doctoral Bienvenüe (UE-Région Bretagne)
  • ANR (National Research Agency) projects:
    • CO2-3D (2018-2022)
    • MegaMU (2020-2024)
    • JCJC SUCHY (2020-2024)
    • 2PhlowFrac (2021-2025)
    • IMAGE (2022-2026)
  • Project PIA3 Terra Forma (2021-2028)
  • CPER GLAz (2021-2026) : XXXX


The team addresses the various aforementioned scientific topics through the quadruple approach of field experimentation, lab experiments, numerical simulations, and analytical modeling :

  • In situ experimentation and monitoring of hydrogeological sites : H+ national observatory of hydrogeological sites , OZCAR network of observatories of the critical zone.
  • Use of low-cost distributed sensors (PIA3 Terra Forma)
  • Milli/micro-fluidic experiments (mixing and reactive transport in porous media, bacterial activity under flow, monitoring of reactive transport by electrical measurements).
  • Imagerie 3D en milieux poreux (chaotic mixing in porous media, convective dissolution of CO2).
  • Muon tomography of volcanos
  • In situ spatialized measurement of temperature and water flux with optical fibers
  • Lamellar mixing theory
  • Lubrification approach to electro-hydrodynamics in fractures
  • Simulation of solute transport by Lagrangian methods
  • Simulation of biphasic flows with finite volume methods

Involvement in large scale technical projects

The team is strongly involved in the following technical projects :

                • Construction of the new experimental building of OSUR, which will include a new millli/micro-fluidic laboratory and space to develop new prototypes of field sensors.

                • The PIA3 Terra Forma project : « Design and test the smart observatory of Antropocene’s socio-ecosystems

                • The creation of new experimental platforms within OSUR and UR1 : IMAGEO (lab experimental imaging , spatialized field sensors, microbiology.