Professeur des Universités

Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique

Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l'Univers

Université de Nantes

Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Bât. 4, porte 38

Tél : +33 (0)251125465

Mél : olivier.bourgeois@univ-nantes.fr


Head of the Master Program in Earth, Planetary and Environmental Sciences (english version)

Initiator and coordinator, with Olivier Verhoeven, of the GeoPlaNet international training and research program (jan 2017- dec 2019)

Collaborating with French artist Sophie Keraudren-Hartenberger



  • Geological and geomorphological mapping (undergrad and postgrad)
  • Field geology and geomorphology (undergrad and postgrad)
  • Structural geology (undergrad and postgrad)
  • Geodynamics, global tectonics (undergrad)
  • Glaciology, glacial geology, glacial geomorphology (undergrad and postgrad)
  • Planetary geology (undergrad and postgrad)
  • Structure and composition of the Earth's interior (undergrad)



  • Planetary geology: Earth, Mars, Titan, Enceladus, Venus
  • Glacial geology: glacial, periglacial, paraglacial and subglacial landforms, subglacial hydrology, glacial dynamics, glacial reconstructions
  • Geomorphology and sedimentology of rocks and ices: gravitational slope processes, development of minerals and landforms by dissolution/precipitation, sublimation/condensation, melting/freezing
  • Geodynamics, global tectonics: oceanic and continental rifts, fold-and-thrust belts, lithospheric folds


Terrestrial playgrounds

  • France (Massif Central, Alps, Jura, Pyrénées, Rhine Graben, Grotte de Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche)
  • Canada (Alberta)
  • Iceland
  • Namibia, South Africa
  • Ethiopia
  • Tunisia
  • Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan)


Extraterrestrial playgrounds

  • Mars: Valles Marineris, Isidis Planitia, Aram Chaos, North Polar Cap
  • Titan: Ontario Lacus
  • Enceladus: South Polar Terrain
  • Venus: frozen/snowy peaks


PhD supervision



All publications

Glaciers on Earth

  • M. Bordiec, S. Carpy, O. Bourgeois, C. Herny, M. Massé, L. Perret, P. Claudin, S. Pochat, S. Douté. Sublimation waves: Geomorphic markers of interactions between icy planetary surfaces and winds, EARTH SCIENCE REVIEWS, in press
  • T. Lelandais, E. Ravier, S. Pochat, O. Bourgeois, C. Clark, R. Mourgues. Modelled subglacial floods and tunnel valleys control the life cycle of transitory ice streams, CRYOSPHERE, Vol. 12, pp. 2759-2772, AUG 27, 2018
  • T. Lelandais, R. Mourgues, E. Ravier, S. Pochat, P. Strzerzynski et O. Bourgeois. Experimental modeling of pressurized subglacial water flow: Implications for tunnel valley formation, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE, Vol. 121, pp. 2022-2041, Nov, 2016
  • B. Van Vliet-Lanoe, O. Bourgeois, O. Dauteuil, J. Embry, J. Schneider et H. Guillou. Deglaciation and volcano-seismic activity in Northern Iceland: Holocene and early Eemian, GEODINAMICA ACTA, Vol. 18, pp. 81-100, JAN-FEB, 2005
  • B. Van Vliet-Lanoe, A. Van Cauwenberge, O. Bourgeois, O. Dauteuil et J. Schneider. A candidate for the last interglacial record in northern Iceland: the Sydra formation. Stratigraphy and sedimentology, COMPTES RENDUS DE L ACADEMIE DES SCIENCES SERIE II FASCICULE A-SCIENCES DE LA TERRE ET DES PLANETES, Vol. 332, pp. 577-584, MAY 15, 2001
  • O. Bourgeois, O. Dauteuil et B. Van Vliet-Lanoe. Geothermal control on flow patterns in the last glacial maximum ice sheet of Iceland, EARTH SURFACE PROCESSES AND LANDFORMS, Vol. 25, pp. 59-76, Jan, 2000
  • O. Bourgeois, O. Dauteuil et B. Van Vliet-Lanoe. Pleistocene subglacial volcanism in Iceland: tectonic implications, EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, Vol. 164, pp. 165-178, DEC 15, 1998
  • B. Van Vliet-Lanoe, O. Bourgeois et O. Dauteuil. Thufur formation in northern Iceland and its relation to holocene climate change, PERMAFROST AND PERIGLACIAL PROCESSES, Vol. 9, pp. 347-365, OCT-DEC, 1998


Glaciers on Mars

  • O. Soucek, O. Bourgeois, S. Pochat et T. Guidat. A 3 Ga old polythermal ice sheet in Isidis Planitia, Mars: Dynamics and thermal regime inferred from numerical modeling, EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, Vol. 426, pp. 176-190, SEP 15, 2015
  • T. Guidat, S. Pochat, O. Bourgeois et O. Soucek. Landform assemblage in Isidis Planitia, Mars: Evidence for a 3 Ga old polythermal ice sheet, EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, Vol. 411, pp. 253-267, FEB 1, 2015
  • C. Herny, M. Massé, O. Bourgeois, S. Carpy, S. Le Mouélic et T. Appere et al. Sedimentation waves on the Martian North Polar Cap: Analogy with megadunes in Antarctica, EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, Vol. 403, pp. 56-66, OCT 1, 2014
  • M. Gourronc, O. Bourgeois, D. Mège, S. Pochat, B. Bultel et M. Massé et al. One million cubic kilometers of fossil ice in Valles Marineris: Relicts of a 3.5 Gy old glacial landsystem along the Martian equator, GEOMORPHOLOGY, Vol. 204, pp. 235-255, JAN 1, 2014
  • M. Massé, O. Bourgeois, S. Le Mouélic, C. Verpoorter, A. Spiga et L. Le Deit. Wide distribution and glacial origin of polar gypsum on Mars, EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, Vol. 317, pp. 44-55, FEB 1, 2012
  • M. Massé, O. Bourgeois, S. Le Mouélic, C. Verpoorter, L. Le Deit et J. P. Bibring. Martian polar and circum-polar sulfate-bearing deposits: Sublimation tills derived from the North Polar Cap, ICARUS, Vol. 209, pp. 434-451, Oct, 2010


Gravitational slope processes on Earth

  • J. Coquin, D. Mercier, O. Bourgeois et A. Decaulne. A paraglacial rock-slope failure origin for cirques: a case study from Northern Iceland. 2019.
  • J. Coquin, D. Mercier, O. Bourgeois, T. Feuillet et A. Decaulne. Is gravitational spreading a precursor for the Stifluholar landslide (Skagafjordur, Northern Iceland)?, GEOMORPHOLOGIE-RELIEF PROCESSUS ENVIRONNEMENT, Vol. 22, pp. 9-24, JAN-MAR, 2016
  • J. Coquin, D. Mercier, O. Bourgeois, E. Cossart et A. Decaulne. Gravitational spreading of mountain ridges coeval with Late Weichselian deglaciation: impact on glacial landscapes in Trollaskagi, northern Iceland, QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, Vol. 107, pp. 197-213, JAN 1, 2015


Gravitational slope processes on Mars

  • G. Jouannic, S. Conway, J. Gargani, F. Costard, M. Massé et O. Bourgeois et al. Morphological characterization of landforms produced by springtime seasonal activity on Russell Crater megadune, Mars, Geological Society, London, Special Publications, Vol. 467, pp. 115-144, Oct, 2018.
  • D. Mège et O. Bourgeois. Equatorial glaciations on Mars revealed by gravitational collapse of Valles Marineris wallslopes, EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, Vol. 310, pp. 182-191, OCT 15, 2011


Weathering and sedimentation on Mars

  • L. Le Deit, J. Flahaut, C. Quantin, E. Hauber, D. Mège et O. Bourgeois et al. Extensive surface pedogenic alteration of the Martian Noachian crust suggested by plateau phyllosilicates around Valles Marineris, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS, Vol. 117, MAR 21, 2012
  • L. Le Deit, O. Bourgeois, D. Mège, E. Hauber, S. Le Mouélic, M. Massé et al. Morphology, stratigraphy, and mineralogical composition of a layered formation covering the plateaus around Valles Marineris, Mars: Implications for its geological history, ICARUS, Vol. 208, pp. 684-703, Aoû, 2010
  • M. Massé, S. Le Mouélic, O. Bourgeois, J. -P. Combe, L. Le Deit, C. Sotin et al. Mineralogical composition, structure, morphology, and geological history of Aram Chaos crater fill on Mars derived from OMEGA Mars Express data, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS, Vol. 113, DEC 9, 2008
  • L. Le Deit, S. Le Mouélic, O. Bourgeois, J.-P. Combe, D. Mège et C. Sotin et al. Ferric oxides in East Candor Chasma, Valles Marineris (Mars) inferred from analysis of OMEGA/Mars Express data: Identification and geological interpretation, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS, Vol. 113, JUL 1, 2008


Dissolution on Titan

  • T. Cornet, D. Cordier, T. Le Bahers, O. Bourgeois, C. Fleurant, S. Le Mouélic et al. Dissolution on Titan and on Earth: Toward the age of Titan's karstic landscapes, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS, Vol. 120, pp. 1044-1074, Jui, 2015
  • T. Cornet, O. Bourgeois, S. Le Mouélic, S. Rodriguez, C. Sotin et J. W. Barnes et al. Edge detection applied to Cassini images reveals no measurable displacement of Ontario Lacus' margin between 2005 and 2010, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-PLANETS, Vol. 117, JUL 18, 2012
  • T. Cornet, O. Bourgeois, S. Le Mouélic, S. Rodriguez, T. Lopez Gonzalez et C. Sotin et al. Geomorphological significance of Ontario Lacus on Titan: Integrated interpretation of Cassini VIMS, ISS and RADAR data and comparison with the Etosha Pan (Namibia), ICARUS, Vol. 218, pp. 788-806, Avr, 2012
  • G. Tobie, M. Choukroun, O. Grasset, S. Le Mouélic, J. I. Lunine, C. Sotin et al. Evolution of Titan and implications for its hydrocarbon cycle, PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY A-MATHEMATICAL PHYSICAL AND ENGINEERING SCIENCES, Vol. 367, pp. 617-631, FEB 28, 2009


Dust storms and dunes on Titan

  • S. Rodriguez, S. Le Mouélic J. W. Barnes, J. F. Kok, S. C. R. Rafkin, R. D. Lorenz et al. Observational evidence for active dust storms on Titan at equinox, Nature Geoscience, Vol. 11, pp. 727 - 732. 2018
  • S. Rodriguez, A. Garcia, A. Lucas, T. Appere, A. Le Gall et E. Reffet et al. Global mapping and characterization of Titan's dune fields with Cassini: Correlation between RADAR and VIMS observations, ICARUS, Vol. 230, pp. 168-179, FEB 15, 2014


Crustal deformation on Earth

  • O. Dauteuil, F. Deschamps, O. Bourgeois, A. Mocquet et F. Guillocheau. Post-breakup evolution and palaeotopography of the North Namibian Margin during the Meso-Cenozoic, TECTONOPHYSICS, Vol. 589, pp. 103-115, MAR 18, 2013
  • O. Bourgeois, M. Ford, M. Diraison, C. L. de Veslud, M. Gerbault et R. Pik et al. Separation of rifting and lithospheric folding signatures in the NW-Alpine foreland, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, Vol. 96, pp. 1003-1031, Nov, 2007
  • M. Ford, C. L. de Veslud et O. Bourgeois. Kinematic and geometric analysis of fault-related folds in a rift setting: The Dannemarie basin, Upper Rhine Graben, France, JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY, Vol. 29, pp. 1811-1830. 2007
  • O. Bourgeois, O. Dauteuil et E. Hallot. Rifting above a mantle plume: structure and development of the Iceland Plateau, GEODINAMICA ACTA, Vol. 18, pp. 59-80, JAN-FEB, 2005
  • C. de Veslud, O. Bourgeois, M. Diraison et M. Ford. 3D stratigraphic and structural synthesis of the Dannemarie basin (Upper Rhine Graben), BULLETIN DE LA SOCIETE GEOLOGIQUE DE FRANCE, Vol. 176, pp. 433-442. 2005
  • O. Dauteuil, O. Bourgeois et T. Mauduit. Lithosphere strength controls oceanic transform zone structure: insights from analogue models, GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, Vol. 150, pp. 706-714, Sep, 2002
  • D. Gapais, P. Cobbold, O. Bourgeois, D. Rouby et M. de Urreiztieta. Tectonic significance of fault-slip data, JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY, Vol. 22, pp. 881-888, Jul, 2000
  • O. Bourgeois, P. Cobbold, D. Rouby, J. Thomas et V. Shein. Least squares restoration of tertiary thrust sheets in map view, Tajik depression, central Asia, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH, Vol. 102, pp. 27553-27573, DEC 10, 1997


Crustal deformation on Enceladus

  • C. Rossi, P. Cianfarra, F. Salvini, O. Bourgeois, G. Tobie. Tectonics of Enceladus’ South Pole: Block rotation of the Tiger Stripes, Journal of Geophysical Research Planets, in press, doi: 10.1029/2020JE006471
  • A. Le Gall, C. Leyrat, M. A Janssen, G. Choblet, G. Tobie, O. Bourgeois et al. Thermally anomalous features in the subsurface of Enceladus's south polar terrain, Nature Astronomy, Vol. 1. 2017
  • O. Cadek, G. Tobie, T. Van Hoolst, M. Massé, G. Choblet, A. Lefèvre et al. Enceladus's internal ocean and ice shell constrained from Cassini gravity, shape, and libration data, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, pp. 5653-5660. 2016