Special field-excursion: GUtech students explore the geology of Dhofar

HALBAN To learn more about the geology of the South of the Sultanate of Oman, a group of 27 Applied Geosciences students along with Prof. Dr. Ivan Callegari and Prof. Heninjara Rarivoarison, conducted a 10-day excursion to Dhofar region. The main aim of the trip was to apply fieldwork techniques acquired in theory during the Bachelor of Science programme and to more about the geology of the Dhofar region. Overall, the students were enthusiastic about the excursion. “We worked along spectacular outcrops and landscapes, a special experience for all of them,” said Prof. Ivan.

During the excursion, the Geosciences students acquired different techniques required for geological fieldwork that help understand the main geological formations of the South of Oman. “Our fieldwork focused on the mineralogical and petrographical analysis, the structural geology reconstruction and geological mapping. These are important techniques used in the oil and gas exploration,” said Prof. Dr. Ivan Callegari. The South of Oman is characterized by a crystalline and metamorphic basement belonging to the Arabian shield that mainly crops out in western Saudi Arabia. “These kind of rocks are the “roots” of the entire rock succession of Oman. They are not well exposed in Northern parts of the Sultanate. The South of Oman is characterized by a so-called Neoproterozoic (700 million years old) crystalline and metamorphic basement covered by a sedimentary rock succession. The latest include one of the most important oil reservoir rocks in Oman,” said Prof. Ivan.

The field excursion was part of a seminar taught by both professors. “In class, the students were already introduced to the main geological concepts including rock formations that make up the uniqueness of the South of Oman. In addition, they learnt how to handle the different tools and materials required for geological fieldwork as well as how to apply different methods taught in class, for example describing, identifying and classifying minerals and rocks in the field, the so-called petrography and mineralogy. The students also learnt how to apply measurement techniques to recognized geological features such as joint, fracture, stratification, faults and else which are important methods applied in the oil and gas exploration.”

The Geosciences students also learnt about the processing of the obtained data and to apply different data management techniques taught in class, for example, stereographic projection, rose diagram analysis and geological cross-section.

(c) GUtech/ Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet & Prof. Dr. Ivan Callegari

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