Swiss Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 111, Issue 3, pp 475–500 | Cite as

Dolomitization of the Upper Jurassic carbonate rocks in the Geneva Basin, Switzerland and France

  • Yasin MakhloufiEmail author
  • Elme Rusillon
  • Maud Brentini
  • Andrea Moscariello
  • Michel Meyer
  • Elias Samankassou


The Upper Jurassic carbonates represent important potential targeted reservoirs for geothermal energy in the Geneva Basin (Switzerland and France). Horizons affected by dolomitization, the focus of the present study, are of particular interest because they proved to be productive in time-equivalent deposits currently exploited in Southern Germany. The study is based on sub-surface samples and outcrops in the Geneva Basin. Petrographic analyses allowed to constrain the paragenesis of the Upper Jurassic units prior to discussing the cause(s) and effect(s) of dolomitization. Data reveal that the facies are affected by early and late diagenesis. All samples show at least two stages of burial blocky calcite cementation with the exception of those from the sub-surface, which display an incomplete burial blocky cementation preserving primary intercrystalline porosity. Dolomitization affected all units. The results point to an early dolomitization event, under the form of replacement dolomite. Dedolomitization, through calcitization and/or dissolution, is an important process, creating secondary pore space. Results of the present study favor a reflux model for dolomitization rather than the mixing-zone model suggested in earlier work. However, considering the geodynamic context, other dolomitization models cannot be excluded for the subsurface. The presence of secondary pore space might contribute to the connectivity of the porous network providing enhanced reservoir properties. These results are a first step towards a better understanding of the diagenetic history of the Upper Jurassic in the Geneva Basin. Moreover, it provides a reasonable framework for further geochemical analyses to constrain the nature and timing of fluid migration. The paragenesis and the dolomitization model hold the potential to help in ongoing exploration for geothermal energy beyond the Geneva Basin.


Geneva Basin Kimmeridgian Diagenesis Dolomitization Dedolomitization 



This work was funded by the SIG (Services Industriels de Genève) as a part of the GEothermy 2020 project. We would like to thank Carsten Reinhold (Rhein Petroleum, Germany) and Anneleen Foubert (Fribourg, Switzerland) for their constructive suggestions. We thank François Gischig, Nino Isabella Valenzi and Agathe Martignier from the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland, for their help with thin sections manufacturing, thin section staining, and S.E.M. imaging, respectively. We thank Patrick Marques (Total) and Damien DoCouto (University of Geneva) for organizing the Humilly-2 core display at the Total core library (Boussens, France). Jérôme Chablais (HydroGeo, Geneva) and Nicolas Clerc (GESDEC, Geneva) were helpful in the field.


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© Swiss Geological Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Service Industriels de Genève (SIG)GenevaSwitzerland

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