The aim of our studies is to get as much as possible information on the Geology of the salt domes as only little is known and published on them so far (Peters et al. 2003: Surface-piercing salt domes of interior North Oman, and their significance for the Ara carbonate ‘stringer’ hydrocarbon play.- GeoArabia, Vol. 8, No.2: 231-270).
Field observations have shown that exotic carbonate blocks and associated evaporites exposed in these salt domes represent an important outcrop analogue for the intra-salt hydrocarbon plays (Ara Group) in the subsurface (3-6 km) of the South Oman Salt Basin and possibly elsewhere.
Recent field work obtained a large set of carbonate samples and data on structural geology and sedimentology. The current approach is (1) to measure maturity and to get data on organic geochemistry in the Institute of Petroleum and Coal, RWTH Aachen, under the supervision of Prof. Ralf Littke. (2) to get data on the diagenetic history and associated carbonate geochemistry under the supervision of Prof. Peter A. Kukla and Dr. Lars Reuning at the Geologic Institute and (3) to get information on the structural evolution of the formerly intra-salt carbonate ‘stringers’ with its associated fluid flow dynamics at the department of Geologie – Endogene Dynamik.
The long-term aim of this project is to produce general statements on the sedimentology of Infra-Cambrian carbonates, fluid flow processes in completely closed (sealed) systems and on the extend of deformation within salt domes. In addition, our results can provide useful informations to compare with the petroleum system of the deeply buried Ara Group in the South Oman Salt Basin.
The second largest Salt Dome ‘Jebel Majayiz’ has a length of 3 km (behind the dromedaries).
View form the interior of Salt Dome Qarn Alam. Isolated carbonate ‘stringers’ define the dome margins in an otherwise flat desert environment. Landcruiser for scale.
View form the interior of salt dome Jebel Majayiz.
View towards the interior of salt dome Jebel Majayiz. Camelus dromedarius for scale.
a) This GeoCover landsat image shows a study area of the research institute Geologie – Endogene Dynamik of RWTH Aachen University: the six surface-piercing salt domes in the desert of interior Northern Oman (source). These domes are an important outcrop equivalent for the subsurface Ara carbonate ‘stringer’ hydrocarbon play and Ara Salt in the South Oman Salt Basin, which is around 500 km more in the SW of Oman. b) Google Earth landsat image shows salt dome Qarn Sahmah, which is surrounded by linear sand dunes. Note radial drainage pattern. c) Google Earth landsat image shows N-trending Jebel Majayiz salt dome with a drainage pattern of reddish material, coming from the dome interior.
Overview map shows salt basins of interior Oman (shaded in grey) (modified after Peters et al., 2003). The surface-piercing salt domes of the Ghaba Salt Basin are marked with Qarn Sahmah (QS), Qarat Kibrit (QK), Qarat Al Milh (QM), Qarn Nihayda (QN), Qarn Alam (QA) and Jebel Majayiz (JM). Inset lower right summarizes the rock units in the subsurface of interior Oman from north to south showing that the “Infra-Cambrian” Ara Group is overlain by thick continental clastics of the Haima Supergroup (modified after Peters et al., 2003). Inset upper right highlights the carbonate to evaporite cycles of the Ara Group (modified after Al-Siyabi, 2005), which is interpreted to from the surface-piercing salt domes.