Donselaar, M.E.


Rick Donselaar graduated with a MSc degree in geology from the University of Utrecht, and received his Doctor of Science degree from the Delft University of Technology with a thesis on the sedimentary architecture of transgressive barrier island systems. In 1980, he started working as a research associate at the University of Utrecht, and later as a lecturer in sedimentology. Since 1987 he works at the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He retired in Oct. 2019 as Associate Professor in Sedimentology. Since 2017 he is Visiting Professor in Sedimentology at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He has been instrumental in establishing the research in geological reservoir characterization at TU Delft. The focus of his research and publications are in the field of the modeling of fluvial reservoirs, with applications in the fields of geothermal energy and (un)conventional hydrocarbon exploitation, and natural arsenic remediation. Rick has led numerous field trips for oil companies and academia. He is a professional member of the IAS, SEPM, IGA, KNGMG. He is Editor of the Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, and was national correspondent for the IAS and President of the Dutch Petroleum Geological Circle (PGK).

PhD Theses:

Kumar, S. (Started 1 Jan. 2017) Geological modelling of Arsenic-free aquifers.

Karamitopoulos, P. (2020). Process stratigraphy: from numerical simulation to lithology prediction. Published PhD Thesis, TU Delft, The Netherlands, 165 pp. ISBN 978-94-6402-097-7.

Van Toorenenburg, K.A. (2018) The key role of crevasse splays in prograding river systems: Analysis of evolving floodplain accommodation and its implications for architecture and reservoir potential. Published PhD Thesis, TU Delft, The Netherlands, 122 pp. ISBN 978-94-6366-084-6.

Willems, C. (2017) Reservoir architecture in the West Netherlands basin for geothermal energy. Published PhD Thesis, TU Delft, The Netherlands, 146 pp. ISBN 978-94-92516-49-7.

Li, J. (2014) Terminal Fluvial Systems in a Semi-arid Endorheic Basin, Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia). Published PhD Thesis, TU Delft, The Netherlands, 164 pp. ISBN 978-90-8891-963-3.

MSc Theses

Kane, E. (Started Nov. 2019) Flexible well pattern and well count optimisation strategies.

Maniar, Z. (2019) Reservoir quality analysis of the Triassic sandstones in the Nederweert and Naaldwijk areas.

Dwi Prabowo, H. (2018) Reservoir Architecture Model of the Triassic Sandstones in Drechtsteden, The Netherlands.

Sunariyanto, B.P. (2018) Geothermal Aquifer Architecture Model of Alblasserdam Member in Drechtsteden, the Netherlands.

Perdomo Figueroa, C. (2017) Floodplain aggradation in a semi-arid endorheic basin setting, Altiplano, Bolivia.

Boerboom, Th. (2016) Detectability and modeling of low net-to-gross fluvial stratigraphy.


Sandén, A. (2016) Process-based Modelling of a Crevasse Splay.

De Jong, M.G.G., Donselaar, M.E., Boerboom, H.T.W., Van Toorenenburg, K.A., Weltje, G.J., Van Borren, L., 2020. Long-range, high-resolution, stratigraphic correlation of Rotliegend fluvial-fan deposits in the central Dutch offshore. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 119.


Henares, S., Donselaar, M.E., Caracciolo, L., 2020. Depositional controls on sediment properties in dryland rivers: influence on near-surface diagenesis. Earth-Science Reviews 208, 103297.

Willems, C.J.L., Vondrak, A., Mijnlieff, H.F., Donselaar, M.E., Van Kempen, B.M.M., 2020. Geology of the Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous geothermal aquifers in the West Netherlands Basin – an overview. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 99, e1.

Henares, S., Donselaar, M.E., Bloemsma, M.R., Tjallingii, R., De Wijn, B., Weltje, G.J., 2019. Quantitative integration of sedimentological core descriptions and petrophysical data using high-resolution XRF core scans. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 110, 450-462.

Ziabakhsh-Ganji, Z., Nick, H.M., Donselaar, M.E., Bruhn, D.F., 2018. Synergy potential for oil and geothermal energy exploitation. Applied Energy, 212, 1433-1447.    https://DOI:10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.12.113


Van Toorenenburg, K.A., Donselaar, M.E., Weltje, G.J., 2018. The life cycle of crevasse splays as a key mechanism in aggrading dryland rivers. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 43, 2409–2420.  DOI: 10.1002/esp.4404

Vondrak, A., Donselaar, M.E., Munsterman, D.K., 2018. Reservoir architecture model of the Nieuwerkerk Formation (Early Cretaceous, West Netherlands Basin): diachronous development of sand-prone fluvial deposits. In: Kilhams, B., Kukla, P.A., McKie, T., Mijnlieff, H.F., van Ojik, K. (eds.) Mesozoic Resource Potential in the Southern Permian Basin. Geol. Soc. London, Spec. Publ., 469.

Willems, C.J.L., Vondrak, A., Munsterman, D.K., Donselaar, M.E., Mijnlieff, H.F., 2017. Regional geothermal aquifer architecture of the fluvial Lower Cretaceous Nieuwerkerk Formation – a palynological analysis. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, 96, 319-330.

Willems, C.J.L., Nick, H.M., Donselaar, M.E., Weltje, G.J., Bruhn, D.F., 2017. On the connectivity anisotropy in fluvial Hot Sedimentary Aquifers and its influence on geothermal doublet performance. Geothermics, 65, 222-233. https://DOI:10.1016/j.geothermics.2016.10.002

Donselaar, M.E., Bhatt, A.G., Ghosh, A.K., 2016. On the relation between fluvio-deltaic flood basin geomorphology and the wide-spread occurrence of arsenic pollution in shallow aquifers. Science of the Total Environment. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.09.074.

Van Toorenenburg, K.A., Donselaar, M.E., Noordijk, N.A., Weltje, G.J., 2016. On the origin of crevasse-splay amalgamation in the Huesca fluvial fan (Ebro Basin, Spain): implications for connectivity in low-net-to-gross fluvial deposits. Sedimentary Geology, 343, 156-164.

Willems, C.J.L., Nick, H.M., Donselaar, M.E., Weltje, G.J., Bruhn, D.F., 2016. On the connectivity anisotropy in fluvial Hot Sedimentary Aquifers and its influence on geothermal doublet performance. Geothermics.

Li, J., Bristow, C.S., Luthi, S.M., and Donselaar, M.E., 2015. Dryland anabranching river morphodynamics: Río Capilla, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Geomorphology, 250, 282-297.

Henares, S., Bloemsma, M.R., Donselaar, M.E., Mijnlieff, H.F., Redjosentono, A.E., Veldkamp, J.G. and Weltje G.J., 2014. The role of detrital anhydrite in diagenesis of aeolian sandstones (Upper Rotliegend, The Netherlands): implications for reservoir-quality prediction. Sedimentary Geology, 314, 60-74.

Geological modelling of Arsenic-free aquifers. Sub-project 2 of DELTAP: an integrative approach for smart small-scale piped water supply in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta. Jan. 2017 – Dec. 2020. Four-year project financially supported by NWO-WOTRO. Santosh Kumar, PhD candidate.

Rick Donselaar

Associate Professor

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