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.
Professor Dan Bosence started his professional career with a PhD from the Sedimentology Research Laboratory at University of Reading, UK, followed by 30 years full-time teaching and research in the University of London.
He currently divides his time between an Emeritus Chair in Carbonate Sedimentology at London University, delivering training courses and consultancy on carbonate reservoirs for the hydrocarbons industry, and growing organic vegetables.
His research into carbonate sediments started with studies on modern cool-water and tropical biogenic carbonates with a focus on carbonate producing communities and production rates. This work formed the foundation of subsequent numerical forward modelling of carbonate platform formation. Research at Royal Holloway featured a multidisciplinary study of rift basin evolution in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden focusing on syn-rift carbonate platform formation. An interest in structural controls on carbonate platform evolution also led to studies of foreland basin platforms in Spain and platforms in convergent settings in Southeast Asia. These field-based studies formed the basis of a new classification of carbonate platforms based on their basinal setting.
His current research focuses on new models to understand the origin of high-frequency cycles in shallow-water carbonates and syn-rift, non-marine carbonates from the SW and NE Atlantic Mesozoic basins.
During his time in London Dan supervised some 25 PhD students and has published about 100 scientific papers and 5 books and edited volumes.
Petroleum geologists, general geologists, sedimentologists, reservoir modellers, reservoir engineers, petrophysicists.