Oligo-Miocene carbonate sedimentary models of Malta: analogues for Cenozoic reservoirs worldwide
The course is designed as an introduction to carbonate sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy through lectures and using the excellent Oligocene and Miocene limestone outcrops of Malta and its sister island, Gozo.
Malta benefits from excellent exposures of systems tracts across depositional models of both carbonate rimmed platform and a carbonate ramp and for illustrating the principles of sequence stratigraphy. Additional interest arises from the overprints of synsedimentary tectonics associated with rifting, plus spectacular karstic collapse structures. These exposures provide a general training ground for carbonate rocks as well as very good analogues for Cenozoic reservoirs (egs SE Asia and Gulf of Suez).
Course base: Sliema, Malta
- Lectures and exercises: carbonate grains, carbonate accumulation processes and carbonate factories, depositional environments, facies and facies models
- Rimmed carbonate platforms (Florida and Bahamas) and carbonate ramps.
- Field study: ramp carbonate facies and facies models; Lower Coralline Limestone, southwest Malta.
- Transect from inner, to mid, to outer ramp facies belts and discussion of facies models for ramp sedimentation.
- Evening classroom: correlation of field sketch logs from inner to outer ramp and construction of facies model.
- Lectures and exercises: principles of carbonate sequence stratigraphy using outcrop and seismic data
- Tectonic classification of carbonate platforms.
- Field study: shelf and pelagic limestones, synsedimentary tectonics, karstic dissolution features and calcretes.
- Globigerina Limestone Formation, Gozo Island: exceptional transgressive section from inner ramp to pelagic carbonate facies; omission and flooding surfaces; lateral facies and thickness changes related to fault-block rotation.
- Study of spectacular karst dissolution structures (Miocene blue holes).
- Pleistocene sub-aerial exposure surface calcretes.
- Field study: contrasting carbonate factories and porosity evolution.
- Upper Coralline Limestone: different carbonate factories (Heterozoan and Photozoan) generating different facies, stratigraphic geometries and pore systems having important controls on reservoir quality.
- Evening petrographic exercises.
Petroleum geologists, general geologists, sedimentologists, reservoir modellers, reservoir engineers, petrophysicists.