Field Trip: Arid coastline carbonates and evaporites of Abu Dhabi, UAE
Join trip leader Dr. Anthony Kirkham as we study the recent, Holocene, Pleistocene, and Miocene carbonate and sabkha evaporite environments of central and western Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s best locations for studying such sediments. This trip’s destination is an outdoor laboratory in which attendees can study geologically modern sequence stratigraphy in a proximal-ramp situation with complete exposure of the sediments and rocks.
This course will illustrate how a range of depositional, diagenetic, and erosional processes can combine to create a complex stratigraphic architecture that could be difficult to interpret subsurface. Learning how these processes interact in real life will provide valuable insight for the geologist who is faced with limited exploration or development data and needs toconstruct 3D models.
- Topics Covered
- Snorkelling across Recent carbonate sediments around Abu Dhabi Island
- Oolith deltas; inter-delta coral patch reefs; lagoonal communities including coral thickets, red algae, sea grass, burrowing, encrusting bivalves.
- Ras Gharab and Futaisi Island: Pleistocene aeolianite, storm beach and other enigmatic limestones
- Mussafah Channel: coastal sabkha sequence: subtidal, intertidal and supratidal sediments with evaporites and microbial mats.
- Transgressive and regressive carbonates.
- Salina deposits
- The origins of sabkhas
- Aeolian carbonate dunes and deflation
- Al Aryam: tidal channels, levees
- Understanding anhydrite distributions
- Rufaiq approach road: lateral zonation within microbial mats, hardgrounds and tepee structures
- Bu Labyad area: Miocene and Pleistocene zeugen and Miocene salina
- Thumayriyah: microbial mats and evaporites
- Jebel Dhanna: Spit-lagoon complexes
- Beach rocks and coniatolites
- Sabkha Matti: a continental sabkha
- Sila: beach ooliths
- Shuweihat island: snorkelling on a modern fringing reef.
- Evening lecture comparing Abu Dhabi with other Recent and ancient marine carbonate systems
- Liwa: modern giant barchans dunes with interdune sabkhas. Comparison with similar Miocene outcrops at Shuweihat.
- Return to Abu Dhabi
- Demonstrate sedimentary and diagenetic responses to relative sea-level variations and climate changes in a proximal carbonate-ramp setting
- Foster skills in geological observation in the field and develop carbonate depositional models based upon sequence-stratigraphic considerations
- Demonstrate reservoir heterogeneity, facies correlations problems, depositional trends, aspect ratios, and scale
- Experience classic and modern peritidal and submarine environments first hand
- Witness aeolian architectures and aeolian deflation
Geologists and petrogeologists wanting to understand carbonate and evaporite environments and how field outcrops relate to recorded data.