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Salt Diapirism and Sediment Interactions in Portugal Lusitanian & Algarve Basins

27th March 2023 - 31st March 2023

This is a course endorsed by EFG

Content of the course:

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.

The highlights of the trip are:

  • 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.

Objectives of the course:

Understanding the following geological aspects:

– Timing of diapirism and its relation with tectonic events;
-Salt diapirism and interaction with sediments: differences and similarities between carbonate and clastic overburden interactions;
-Internal structure of diapirs (layered evaporites, volcanic intrusions, interbedded carbonate and clastic sediments, folding, boudinage, faulting and shear zone development in evaporites);
– Fault and salt welds and fluid flow along weld;
– Unconformities: J-hook, flap-onlap, low-angle wedge;
– Cap rock formation and dissolution breccias around salt structures;
– Hydrocarbon trap geometries against salt diapirs;
– Structural inheritance and onset of halokinesis;
– Salt-sediment interface controlling fluid flow;
– Fluid flow through salt;
– Reworked breccias from diapiric material and roof sediments;
– Roof collapse and sedimentary infill above diapirs;
– Reservoir damage around salt diapirs;
– Implications of field work observations for seismic imaging of salt diapirs and seismic interpretation of salt structures.

Costs of the course:

Full Cost: 3000 euros (+VAT if applicable)
APG members: 2700 euros (+VAT if applicable) (%10 discount rate)
EurGeol title holders: 2400 euros (+VAT if applicable) (%20 discount rate)
Group discount (>5 participants) (%15 discount rate)

You can find more information and get registered in the following link:


27th March 2023
31st March 2023
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