Modern Carbonate Depositional Environments of Abu Dhabi

Course Details

Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is the prime location for the study of arid carbonate ramps and one of the field-areas for Dr. Jaffri’s dissertation work. Thanks to Chris Kendall, who has devoted his career to enhancing our understanding of depositional processes along the Trucial Coast, Abu Dhabi has become the industry-standard for modern carbonate ramp studies. This 1-day field trip is offered in conjunction with a 4-day class room course on Carbonate Reservoirs. The field trip includes a transect through facies belts including dune fields, supratidal sabkha, intertidal cyanobacterial mats, and subtidal ooid grain shoals deposited in a wide range of nearshore environments. We will use a boat to investigate sub-tidal sand shoals and discuss the reservoir quality, distribution and primary dolomitization that occurs along carbonate ramps. If you work on the Permian Basin or the Tertiary carbonate reservoirs of Southeast Asia we recommend you take our field trip that focuses on rimmed attached platforms.

Due to the limit of participants we can have on the boat at one-time we strongly urge you to register for this course as soon as possible. The course will be offered in April 2019.


This is an ‘awareness’ level course that we recommend for all experience level geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, engineers and managers. The course starts and ends in Abu Dhabi, UAE and introduces participants to the processes that control reservoir deposition, distribution and architecture along carbonate ramps.

Course Outline


8:00 am - We will be gathering at the hotel meeting room for a safety briefing and orientation to the field area.

9:00 am - We will gather at the hotel lobby and take ground transportation to the harbor.

10:00 am - We will head out on boat through ooid-filled tidal inlets and examine changing facies from landwards to basinwards, including the famous ebb deltas of Abu Dhabi

11:00 am - 12:00 pm - We will spend time examining carbonate eolianites, and the development of shoreface profiles along the seaward margins of the characteristic T-shaped islands that line the Abu Dhabi coastline. We will then return to Abu Dhabi and load in vehicles to visit the field area


1:00 -2:00 pm After having lunch we will examine sedimentary structures in beach-perpendicular trenches

2:30 - 3:00 pm We will walk in a transect across the sabkha to examine lithological changes and the interplay between carbonate and evaporite precipitation and discuss dolomitization mechanisms

3:00 - 3:30 pm We will head back towards the hotel in Abu Dhabi.

This field course is only offered in conjunction with our 4-day classroom carbonate course which now includes a module on unconventional carbonate resource plays. The organizer of the course is GTC and we will be running it in April 2019.