Dr. L. Caracciolo

Dr. Luca Caracciolo

Research Associate

Lehrstuhl für Geologie
GeoZentrum Nordbayern
Schlossgarten 5
D-91054 Erlangen
phone: +49 (0)9131 85 29240
Email: luca.caracciolo(at)fau(dot)de



My research is focused on the application of a wide spectrum of Provenance analysis techniques applied to basin analysis, particularly on the relationships between tectonics and sedimentation. Most relevant analytical approaches and research interests are Quantitative sedimentary provenance analysis; Sedimentary petrology and heavy minerals, detrital geochemistry, sedimentary processes (weathering/recycling, sorting and volcaniclastic sedimentation) diagenesis (cementation chronology, pore-water interaction, thermal history), Low-temperature thermochronology (Fission tracks and U-Th/He dating). I’m keen on using and integrating state of the art techniques – e.g. Raman and QemScan – and model compositional data to link sediment mineralogy to sedimentary processes.

The most exciting and challenging aspect of my research is to use provenance and sediment composition in different fields, especially those related to the O&G and geothermal industry for enhanced interpretation of facies heterogeneity, reservoir connectivity, diagenetic environments and their influence on fluid migration. Combining both academic and industry experience, I had the chance to work and publish in areas dislocated in all continents including Europe, North and South America, Africa, SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I’m actively involved in industry projects and training of professionals from the O&G industry.










Research topics fitting to both BSc and MSc thesis projects are always available and are largely focused on Sediment Provenance, Basin Analysis, Diagenesis and Reservoir Modelling.

Analytical tools include sedimentary petrography (thin section analysis and heavy minerals), detrital geochemistry (whole-rock and single-grain analysis) and mineralogy (XRD and Qemscan), geochronology (U-Pb dating) and compositional data analysis. Petrophysics (porosity, permeability, anisotropy and thermoconductivity), cathodoluminescence, micro-CT and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and isotopic analyses are routinely applied for diagenetic studies. PETREL and similar software are also available for sedimentological, diagenetic and reservoir modelling.


Please contact me at: luca.caracciolo(at)fau(dot)de


1. Permo-Triassic of South-East Germany (Bavaria) – up to 5 BSc and MSc thesis

We’re conducting research on both sediment provenance and diagenesis aiming at establishing the relationship between sediment supply, sedimentary environments and their influence on diagenetic processes and petrophysical properties. Permo-Triassic successions are studied from both outcrop and boreholes which will ultimately provide the opportunity to correlate correspondent formations at a regional scale. The analytical workflow includes core-logs analysis, petrophysics, diagenesis, sediment provenance and sedimentological/reservoir modelling.

2. Namibia (Southern Africa) – 3 thesis

On-going research in Namibia is focused on modern and ancient aeolian vs fluvial processes aiming at achieving a better understanding of dominant sedimentary dynamics in the Namib Desert over the last 15 Ma. Analytical workflow comprises bulk petrography and heavy mineral analysis, detrital geochemistry and possibly geochronology for the study of three formations, namely the Oswater, Karpfen Kliff and Langen Heinrich post-Miocene successions.

3. Betic Cordillera (South-western Spain) – 1 thesis

A provenance-basin analysis project based on bulk petrography and heavy mineral analysis to reconstruct drainage modifications in response to major tectonic events during the Serravalian-Tortonian building phase of the Betic Cordillera.

Exploring opportunities for development of Geothermal projects in South America

In March 2018, together with Dr. W. Bauer, we’ve been travelling to Peru and Colombia to meet a number of government institutions and universities to explore new opportunities for the Applied Sedimentology Group to develop geothermal projects.

We achieved remarkable results and established a strong connection with the Peruvian Geological Survey (INGEMMET) and the national funding agency (CONCYTEC) aiming at developing shallow- and deep-geothermal projects in Southern Peru, possibly since 2019.

The trip to Colombia was as much success. We’ve been invited to Barranquilla’s Universidad del Norte, in the framework of the academic international event “Catedra Europa”, to present on the “Analysis and modelling of sedimentary rocks and application to the exploration of geo-resources in Colombia”. We have also met and strengthened our relationships with geo-scientists from UniNorte, Universidad del Atlantico and Universidad de la Costa, with whom will be developing shallow-geothermal projects to be integrated into the energy plan of the city of Barranquilla (Energy Capital of Colombia). The second part of the trip was in Bogota and offered the opportunity to discover a number of project opportunities including exploration for deep-geothermal resources with the Universidad Nacionál de Colombia (UNAL) and Universidad de los Andes. Besides projects, we’re working on building up strong relationships with the Colombian Geothermal Association (AGEOCOL) to establish a training program for geoscientists and engineers interested in geothermal.