AAPG Field Seminar - "Arid Carbonate Coastlines"

AAPG Field Seminar - "Arid Carbonate Coastlines"

Field seminar to examine the modern day arid carbonate coastline in Abu Dhabi.  Course has previously been run for the AAPG.


Abu Dhabi


The aims of this field seminar are to:

  • examine modern arid carbonate and carbonate-evaporite depositional environments
  • study Miocene and Pliocene analogues at outcrop
    consider the scale of facies tracts in this intricate setting and their significance for ancient subsurface analogues
  • develop a generic sequence stratigraphic model for carbonate-evaporite coastal deposystems
  • study Miocene and Pliocene analogues at outcrop
Who Should Attend

Petroleum geologists involved with arid carbonate or carbonate-evaporite plays, and those who wish to see this classic arid coastline depositional setting at first-hand.


The Abu Dhabi coastline is the best-developed and best-studied modern arid carbonate shoreline setting in the world, and provides text book examples of a wide range of depositional environments including evaporitic inland and coastal sabkhas, peritidal microbial mats, barrier islands, tidal deltas, oolite shoals and fringing reefs. The Mio-Pliocene outcrops of western Abu Dhabi provide pratial ancient analogues.

Course Format

The seminar comprises a three-day field workshop, with an optional fourth day spent examining ancient anologues.

Course Outline
  • Day 1 - Introduction to arid carbonate depositional environments, and hands-on examination of ooid beach, mangrove swamp, coastal sabkha and tidal delta settings
  • Day 2 - Fieldwork (coastal sabkha traverse, microbial mats, barrier island, fringing reef)
  • Day 3 - Fieldwork (aragonite-cemented spits, ooid tidal shoals, inland interdune sabkha)
  • Day 4 - Fieldwork (Lower Miocene and Pliocene analogues)
Course Details
  • Duration: 3 to 4 days
  • Proposed dates: anytime late September to late March
  • Cost: By quotation, includes instruction, course manual, field transportation, double-occupancy accommodation, breakfast, lunches and some dinners. The seminar starts and finishes in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Clothing: This is a wet and dirty trip. Wet-boots, shorts, T-shirt and baseball cap are the ideal kit, together with training shoes for dry localities. A snorkel would be useful. Safety helmets are not required.
  • Insurance: Participants should ensure that their employers liability insurance cover (including medical insurance) is in order, particularly for personal accident and loss or damage of equipment, as Oolithica Geoscience Ltd cannot accept responsibility for claims arising from this or any other field seminar.
  • Attendance Limit: minimum 7, maximum 11 participants