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Oil & Gas Training
and Competency Development
Competency Management system SLB NEXT

Depositional Environments from Slope Aprons to Tropical Reefs - Tabernas & Sorbas Basins, Spain

This five-day field course offers an extensive series of outcrop examinations, field-based correlation, reservoir description, instruction and exercises. It aims to familiarize the student with the stratigraphy, shape, and scale of depositional bodies in small active Neogene basins. The value of sequence stratigraphic approaches, paleobathymetric analyses, and structural setting of the basin on predicting the large-scale character of the late Miocene deposits will be addressed in an appraisal and development context. The outcrop studies will illustrate the types of geological heterogeneity that occur in such sequences and show the geological processes responsible for these different hierarchical scales of variability.

Relaxed team exercises at the outcrops will enhance knowledge transfer. Three days working in Tortonian deep water environments studying deposits of mass flow processes and their interaction with slope geometries, assessing architecture of a sheet-like turbidites apron and contrast that with a scour/lobe apron. One day studying the effects of Tortonian-Messinian relative sea level in filling the Sorbas Basin with clastics and evaporites. Finally one day evaluating Tortonian to Messinian temperate water and tropical carbonates, the impact of relative sea level and the Messinian Salinity Crisis.

Day 1
  • Tabernas Basin (Paleocene to Recent)
  • Introduction to the Paleocene to Pleistocene infill of the basin at Tabernas castle
  • Assessing mass flow processes and deposits in the basal succession
  • A hike from the shore in the northern Basin margin into the deep.
  • Seismic scale view of the transgressive systems tract
Day 2
  • Tabernas Basin (Late Miocene)
  • Study of sheet like turbidites
  • Outcrop exercise assessing a Mass Transport Complex
  • Climb to the stratigraphic pinch out of the sheet like turbidite system
Day 3
  • Tabernas basin (Late Miocene)
  • Draw, walk through and discuss a sediment delivery system
  • Assess sedimentary processes in high N/G turbidite system
  • Map depositional architecture of scour lobes
  • Hike to a distal margin of the sand rich system
Day 4
  • Sorbas Basin (Paleocene-Pliocene)
  • Introduction at view of seismic scale outcrop of Paleocene to Pliocene rocks
  • Sediment production during relative rise of sea level (Late Tortonian to late Messinian)
  • Messinian Evaporite cycles
  • Advance and retreat of clastic shorelines (Late Messinian)
Day 5
  • Carboneras basin (Serravallian-Pliocene)
  • Introduction at the volcanic basement with sediment onlap. (Early Tortonian)
  • Interplay of volcanism and temperate water factory (Late Tortonian-Early Messinian)
  • Contrasting temperate and tropical carbonate factories and their accumulations (Messinian)
Learning activity mix

The course is designed for multi-disciplinary audiences of exploration and production geologists, geophysicists and petroleum engineers who need a sound understanding of deep-marine and shallow sediments and their architectural elements.

Good basic knowledge of Geology.

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