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Monday 30 May 2016
Title: Salt Tectonics - From Subsurface and Outcrop Observations to Modelling
Room: Lehar 1
Convenors: Martin Schöpfer (University of Vienna)
Gabor Tari (OMV)

Workshop description

*If you are interested in attending the workshop, make sure to register as soon as possible via the following webpage.

There has been an enormous revolution in our understanding of salt tectonics in the past two decades The beginnings of the revolution occurred within some of the exploration companies, but their ideas only became public starting in about the late 1980’s. Our increased understanding of the geometry and evolution of salt bodies and associated strata is due in large part to the fortuitous convergence of advances in four areas:

1. Experimental and numerical modelling
Attempts to model salt deformation have been made for many decades, but until fairly recently, both salt, and also the overburden, were modelled as viscous fluids. Starting in the early nineties, however, a new set of physical models were performed where the overburden was treated as a brittle material, more in keeping with the known mechanical behaviour. The results demonstrated salt’s more passive role of reacting to, rather than causing, deformation and fundamentally changed the ways most people look at salt deformation.  Numerical modelling is experiencing a large boom these years as new approaches appeared beyond the traditional finite elements (FE) models, such as Arbitrary Eulerian-Lagrangian (ALE) and Discrete Element Methods (DEM).

2. Seismic imaging
There has been a steady improvement in seismic data acquisition and processing over the years. But with the advent of such techniques as various pre-stack depth migration techniques, images of salt bodies became much clearer, with improved pictures of the bases of salt sheets and overhangs and the steep flanks of diapirs. Also, the industry drilled many wells to test and refine the subsurface image of numerous salt features across the world.

3. Structural restoration
The technique of cross-section restoration was first applied to salt structures in the late 1980s. In the past 15 years, numerous people have used restoration to reconstruct the history of salt movement and associated deformation of surrounding strata.

4. Field studies
Armed with new ideas, various researchers have re-examined exposed salt basins throughout the world, leading to improved understanding of the processes of salt-related deformation.

In this course, we will concentrate on the new ideas about salt tectonics. Many of the illustrations used here are examples of the four areas of advance listed above. The impact of the advances has spread to salt basins worldwide, just to name a few key salt basins:  the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, offshore West Africa, offshore Brazil, the Precaspian Basin, the Zagros Mountains, onshore Yemen, etc.
This session is open to technical presentations by academic and industry contributors about the latest advances in the understanding of salt tectonics.

Workshop Programme

*A downloadable version can be found here

Session Physical and Numerical Modelling
09:00 Welcome
09:05 WS07 A01 Internal Deformation of Salt Structures - Modelling the Effect of Rheology and Geometry
H.A. Koyi* (Uppsala University), L. Fuchs (Uppsala University) & H. Schmeling (Goethe University)
09:25 WS07 A02 On the Stability of Normally-pressured Cohesionless Submarine Slopes Resting on a Weak Substratum
M.P.J. Schöpfer* (University of Vienna) & F.K. Lehner (University of Salzburg)
09:45 WS07 A03 The Influence of Initial Geometry, Rheology, and Sedimentation on the Raise of Salt
D.W. Schmid* (GeoModelling Solutions GmbH), B.J.P. Kaus (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany), P.E. Øverli (Det norske oljeselskap, Oslo, Norway), F. Karlsen (Det norske oljeselskap, Oslo, Norway) & E.H. Hartz (Det norske oljeselskap, Oslo, Norway)
10:05 WS07 A04 3D Numerical Modelling of Salt Tectonics with a Brittle Overburden in an Extensional Regime
T.S. Baumann* (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz), B.J.P. Kaus (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz), P. Eichheimer (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz) & G. Reuber (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz)
10:25 WS07 A05 Experimental Insights on the Seamount Control during Gravity-driven Extension in Passive-margins Salt Basins
O. Ferrer* (University of Barcelona), E. Roca (University of Barcelona), O. Gratacos (University of Barcelona) & J.A. Muñoz (University of Barcelona)
10:45 Coffee break


Session Processes and Geometries
11:05 WS07 B01 Drape Folding Adjacent to Salt Diapirs - Comparing and Contrasting Composite Halokinetic Sequences and Megaflaps
G. Rowan* (Rowan Consulting Inc.), K.A. Giles (University of Texas) & T.E. Hearon (ConocoPhillips)
11:25 WS07 B02 Growth of Megaflaps during Differential Loading - Insights from Analogue Modeling
O. Ferrer* (University of Barcelona), E. Roca (University of Barcelona), N. Carrera (University of Barcelona), J.A. Muñoz (University of Barcelona), M.G. Rowan (Rowan Consulting, Inc.) & K.A. Giles (The University of Texas at El Paso)
11:45 WS07 B03 Halokinetic Drape-Fold Model for Caprock in Diapir-Flanking and Subsalt Positions
A. Giles (The University of Texas at El Paso), T.F. Lawton (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), A. Shock (Occidental Petroleum Corporation), T.E. Hearon (ConocoPhillips) & M.G. Rowan* (Rowan Consulting Inc.)
12:05 WS07 B04 Salt Is a Heavy Fluid
D.G. Quirk* (Maersk Oil)
12:25 Lunch break


Session Fold-and-thrust Belts & Inversion
13:10 WS07 C01 From Fold-and-Thrust Belts on Salt to Salt Deposition and Tectonics in a Fold-and-Thrust Belt (Sivas, Turkey)
J.C. Ringenbach* (Total SA), C Kergaravat (University of Pau), E. Legeay (University of Pau) & J.P. Callot (University of Pau)
13:30 WS07 C02 Large and Small Scale Structural Evolution of Salt Controlled Minibasin in a Fold-an-thrust Belt Setting
C. Kergaravat* (University of Pau (UPPA)), C. Ribes (University of Pau (UPPA)), J.P. Callot (University of Pau (UPPA)) & J.C. Ringenbach (Total SA)
13:50 WS07 C03 The Kuqa Foreland Basin (NW China) - Geometry of a Fold-and-thrust Belt Controlled by Multiple Décollements
E. Izquierdo (Universitat de Barcelona), E. Roca* (Universitat de Barcelona), H. Xie (Tarim Oilfield, Petrochina), O. Pla (Universitat de Barcelona), S. Huang (Tarim Oilfield, Petrochina), J.A. Muñoz (Universitat de Barcelona), Y. Neng (Tarim Oilfield, Petrochina) & M. Rowan (Rowan Consulting, Inc.)
14:10 WS07 C04 Influence of Fault Geometries and Mechanical Anisotropies on the Growth and Inversion of Ganging-wall Synclinal Basins
O. Ferrer* (University of Barcelona), K. McClay (Royal Holloway University of London) & N.C. Sellier (Royal Holloway University of London)
14:30 WS07 C05 Salt Structures During Basin Inversion and their Interaction with Upper Cretaceous Depositional systems, NW Mid-Polish Trough
P. Krzywiec* (Institute of Geological Sciences)
14:50 Coffee Break


Session Case Studies
15:10 WS07 D01 Restoration and Validation of an Autochthonous Salt Dome - Lessons from the Butch Discovery, Offshore Norway
H. Anderson* (Midland Valley Exploration), A. Hetland Olsen (Centrica), E. Macaulay (Midland Valley Exploration) & P. McCaffrey (Centrica)
15:30 WS07 D02 Evaporites in a Rift Setting – The Alpine Halite-mudrock-polyhalite Tectonite (Haselgebirge Fm., Eastern Alps, Austria)
C. Leitner* (University of Salzburg), S. Wiesmaier (Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich), M.H. Köster (Technical University of Munich), H.A. Gilg (Technical University of Munich) & F. Neubauer (University of Salzburg)
15:50 WS07 D03 The Håpet Dome in the Norwegian Barents Sea, Structural Evolution and Morphometry of Salt Basins
R.W. Dellmour* (OMV Exploration & Production GmbH), E. Stueland (OMV (Norge) AS), S. Lindstrom (OMV (Norge) AS), G. Tari (OMV E&P, Vienna, Austria) & S. Purkis (Nat. Coral reef Inst., Nova S. Univ., FL, USA)
16:10 WS07 D04 Salt Tectonics Offshore Morocco - New Insights from Numerical Modelling and 2D Seismic Interpretation
L. M. Pichel* (University of Manchester), M. Huuse (University of Manchester), E. Finch (University of Manchester) & J. Redfern (University of Manchester)
16:30 WS07 D05 The Impact of the Lower Miocene Salt Detachment on the Structural Style of the Romanian Eastern Carpathian Fold and Thrust Belt
Z. Schleder *(OMV Petrom), A. Tamas (OMV Petrom), C. Krezsek (OMV Petrom), S. Dobre (OMV Petrom), A. Stoicescu (OMV Petrom), M. Popescu (OMV Petrom), A. Oteleanu (OMV Petrom) & M. Gheorghiu (OMV Petrom)
16:50 WS07 D06 Salt Tectonics - The Exploration Challenge Using Poor Quality Vintage Seismic Data
G. Tari* (OMV Exploration & Production GmbH), B. Bezdan (OMV) & M. Haghigi (OMV)
17:10 Discussion
17:30 End