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Salt Diapirism and Sediment Interactions in Portugal Lusitanian & Algarve Basins

16th October 2023 - 20th October 2023

This course is endorsed by EFG.

This 5 day field trip focuses on the main aspects of salt tectonics, particularly on diapirs and their interplay with sedimentary processes. Participants will observe structural and sedimentary features that are usually not detectable on seismic data.

The onshore Algarve and Lusitanian basins located on the Atlantic West Iberian Margin present world-class exposures that are ideal to visualize common aspects and problems that professionals deal with during exploration, appraisal, and development phases of hydrocarbon accumulations and for underground energy storage (natural gas, hydrogen, compressed air, battery systems, etc…), CCUS, geothermal energy and toxic /nuclear waste storage.
The geological structures in the two basins improve our understanding of the origin and complexity of evaporitic sequences and related halokinetic processes, limitations with imaging and interpreting internal and external structure of salt diapirs. Participants will observe the implications of salt tectonics for reservoir properties and trapping mechanisms on upturned salt diapir flanks, thermal gradient variation and intra-salt heterogeneity.

This field trip is based on research undertaken by the instructors over the past 8 years in two Portuguese basins. Participants will understand salt tectonics concepts while observing world-class field examples, which include:

  • An unique chance to see outcrops with an oil field trapped against a salt diapir;

  • Visit a salt mine inside a squeezed diapir beneath the centre of Loulé City in Algarve;

  • Explore the deepest evaporite quarry in Portugal, which was originally a mine;

  • Multiple exceptional outcrops of salt-related structures in Central and southern Portugal.


Further information and registration::

Course characteristics:

Physical requirements: Easy. Participants will be required to walk a maximum of 2 km at some localities over easy relatively flat terrain. Not recommended for claustrophobic individuals (visit to mine).
Duration: 5 days
Type: Fieldwork and evening talks
Area: Central Algarve and Central Costal Portugal
Target audience: Salt Specialists, Structural Geologists, Petroleum Geologists, Geophysicists, Mining Geologists and Engineers.
Pre-requisites: Structural geology and salt tectonic principles
Whats included: Transportation, meals, accommodation in 4 star (3 nights) and 5 Star  (1 night) hotels, digital and paper field guide, personal insurance, PPE bag (hard hat, reflective vest, emergency blanket, waterproof whistle) and walking poles (at request).
Number of participants: Minimum of 15 and maximum 20 persons + 3 guides / instructors.

Course Cost: 3000 € (excl. tax).
Special discount rates available for EFG – European Federation of Geologists (20%) or APG – Associação Portuguesa de Geólogos members (10%). Early bird discount available (10%) for the first 5 participants until the end of May 2023.



16th October 2023
20th October 2023
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Associação Portuguesa de Geólogos