Saltwork course catalog

winter 2015
Saltwork course
We are committed to offering up to date and comprehensive
understandings in all training related to saline geosystems
The catalog outlines the various
training modules we offer across
all applied aspects of evaporite
Our course structure is modular
so you, or your training coordinator, can construct training
program that meets your specific
The recommended program
length is 3 days made up of 2
days of the “understandings”
module (1000 code #’s), followed by a more specialized
one day.
Our one day advanced modules
are suitable for specific interests;
1) potash (2100 code #’s)
2) oil & gas (2200 code #’s)
3) resources (23-2600’s codes)
We can also integrate training with your specific problem
sets including core, wireline,
assay, seismic and other data
sets that your staff are working with. Introductory aspects
of training in the use of these
data skills are also possible.
Talk to us and we will design a
program for you.
Most geologists and geophysicists working in oil and gas provinces or in base and precious metals systems, where-ever
salt or related brines are present, know that salt has played
a role in forming the commodity of interest. What they may
not fully appreciate is that the role of the various salt and
brines can be used as a predictive tool to better focus their
exploration and development efforts.
Some salty facts:
• 50% of all giant and supergiant oil and gas field in carbonate
hosted reservoirs are associated with evaporites.
• 70% of all giant stratiform copper deposits are related to
evaporites, their brines and associated fluid interfaces.
• Many Pb-Zn and IOCG associations are related to saline
brine systems, and are tied to dissolving or altering evaporites
and their daughter products, along with associated redox
• 95% of the world’s annual production of potash salts is used
by the fertiliser industry.
Want to know how and why this relatively small group of
sediments, their brines and their metamorphic products are
so significant to so many aspects across the applied geoindustries? We can share this knowledge and show you how to
apply it improve exploration and development efficiencies.
Contact us:
understandings (2 days)
In order to deal with more specialised commodity-specific topics, the
course participant must first gain and understanding of what constitutes an evaporite, its brine system and its residues within a tectonic
and climatic framework
The 4 modules listed on this page give participants the comprehensive
background and conceptual frame needed to tackle the more advanced
topic sets listed on the following pages.
Once these general topic sets are mastered, the client company can
choose which of the advanced topic sets best fit their training needs
what is an evaporite? (half-day)
Messinian gypsum, Sicily
Evaporite beds are deposited
altered with characteristic
textures that can indicate the
original hydrological setting
and ocean chemistry as well
as various diagenetic fluids it
was exposed to during burial,
re-equilibration and uplift.
1000.01 Evaporation vs. cryogenesis
1000.02 Depositional textures
1000.03 Diagenetic textures 1000.04 Gypsum and anhydrite
1000.05 Halite and trona
1000.06 Saline clay authigenesis
brine evolution (half-day)
Every evaporite sequence mineralogy and daughter product
is controlled by brine evolution pathways. This evolution
is preserved in brine chemistries and typical isotopic signatures (S, O, C, Cl).
1025.01 Marine, nonmarine & climate
1025.02 Inclusion chemistries
1025.03 Isotopic signatures
1025.04 Surface & nearsurface brine
1025.05 Basinal & metamorphic brine
Cane Creek pans, Utah
ancient basins and tectonics (half day)
Ancient evaporite settings
In evaporite geosystems the
present offers a limited sampling of broader evaporite associations in the past. This reflects the limited climatic and
tectonic spectrum seen in today’s evaporites. Past systems
were more significant
Eustasy, greenhouse, icehouse
1050.01 Continental basins
1050.02 Marine-margin basins
1050.03 Ancient basinwide systems
1050.04 Tectonic controls
1050.05 Basin evolution across time
evaporite that was (half day)
Although largely unrecognised,
the are widespread indicators
of evaporites in successions
where thick sequences of salt
have long since dissolved in
cross-flushing basinal waters.
Naica gypsum, Mexico
How and where salts dissolve
Saline karst, present & past
Breccias, which are salty?
Nodule & pseudomorphs
Indicators of fluid pathways
geology of
potash (1 day)
This one-day advanced course focuses on the geological controls of potash
deposition and diagenesis. It emphasizes the utility of applied geological
knowledge in improving efficiencies during exploration and development.
Some 90-95% of the world’s potash annual production is used in the fertiliser industry. Most of this product is muriate of potash (KCl) with less
production of the premium product - sulfate of potash.
Geological sources of potash are either from brine extraction (including
solution mining and processing of playa brines), or from conventional
mining of bedded and halokinetic potash.
Dead Sea
Carnallitite beds
brine extraction
Depending on brine inflow proportions, which are controlled by geology in the drainage hinterland
and the climate (evaporitic versus cryogenic), the product is either carnallite (e.g. Dead Sea and
Wendover Utah) or sulfate of potash (Lop Nur and Great Salt Lake).
Geological characterisation of all
the world’s potash deposits shows
that even in the giant bedded deposits of Canada, diagenesis plays
a significant control on ore quality.
Brine extraction is utilised in all
current examples of Quaternary
production of muriate of potash
and sulphate of potash.
The greater part of the world’s
potash is conventionally mined
from ancient salt beds or diapiric
salt masses in Canada, Russia, Belarus, UK and Germany.
2150.01 Potash across time
Solikamsk sinkhole, Nov. 2014
The high solubility of evaporitic
salts, especially the potash bitterns means there are particular
problems and hazards associated
with the utilisation of bedded and
halokinetic potash.
Pervasive natural karst typify all
past and present salt deposits. Effects of these natural geohazards
can be increased if flood possibilities are not accounted for from
the sinking of the first shaft and
throughout the life of the mine.
2125.01 Marine vs. nonmarine
2150.02 Diagenesis and ore
2125.02 Tectonics & brines
2150.03 World potash basins 2175.01 Keep it in the “salt”
2125.03 SOP vs. MOP
2150.04 Exploration criteria
2175.02 Natural or not?
2175.03 Seeing the problem
Wendover feeders
Zechstein salt
Patience Lake mine
Lop Nur, China
Dead Sea sinkholes
oil and gas
(1 day)
Many of the world’s larger oil and gas fields occur in halokinetically-influenced structures across many of the world’s salt basins (e.g. Campos
Basin, Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Lower Congo Basin, Santos Basin and
A predictive understanding of the physics of salt and how salt flow influences tectonics, reservoir sedimentation and its evolution is therefore
critical to effective and efficient petroleum exploration.
This advanced module explores the detail and predictive outcomes
involved in gaining an understanding of the hydrocarbon-evaporite association.
Salt kinetics
salt tectonics
Many of the world’s oil and gas
fields occur in halokinetically-influenced structures across many of
the world’s salt basins (e.g. Campos
Basin, Gulf of Mexico, North Sea,
Lower Congo Basin, Santos Basin
and Zagros).
The course gives a predictive understanding of salt and how it
controls local and regional salt
tectonics, reservoir sedimentation and diagenesis (poroperm).
This is critical to effective and efficient petroleum exploration and
field development.
»» Salt tectonics & basin-scales
»» Predictive salt models
»» Circum-salt diagenesis.
Salt flows and so
creates traps and
fluid foci
Bitumens in Ara salt
Hutt Lagoon
reservoir & seal
source rocks
This is especially obvious in Middle East and in circum Atlantic Aptian settings. Worldwide, all giant
and supergiant gas fields in thrust
belts have an evaporite seal.
Similar conditions favour evaporite and organic matter preservation
A large proportion of the world’s
giant and supergiant oil and gas
fields are associated with salt.
With carbonate reservoirs this
proportion is more than 50%.
Salt acts a seal to underlying and
adjacent reservoirs. In diagenesis
it supplies brines than can create
or enhance reservoir poroperm.
Physics of salt seals
Bedded associations
Halokinetic associations
Dolomite & evaporites.
Salt maintains its
seal integrity
Oil in carbonate reservoirs, sealed
by evaporite salts, may have been
sourced in earlier less saline, but
still related, evaporitic (mesohaline) conditions.
»» Halotolerants tend to flourish
in mesohaline waters.
»» Why “feast and famine”
makes source rocks
»» Organic geochemistry of
halotolerants and halophiles
»» Indicative biomarkers
»» The 4 main ancient evaporitic
source rock systems
»» Time limits of the modern.
Saline systems encourage the preservation of organics
2225.01 Physics of salt
2250.01 Salt seal integrity
2275.01 Salinity tolerances
2225.02 Extensional systems
2250.02 Beds, plays & plumes
2275.02 Halotolerant & philes
2325.03 Compressional 2250.03 Halokinetic reservoir
2275.03 Organic indicators 2325.04 Circum-salt systems
2250.04 Dolomitisation & salt
2275.04 Depositional settings
metals and
salts (1 day)
Many sediment-hosted stratiform copper deposits are closely associated
with evaporites, or indicators of former evaporites, as are a number of
SedEx and MVT deposits. This is because most subsurface evaporites ultimately dissolve and, through their ongoing dissolution and alteration,
can create subsurface carriers and conditions suitable for metal enrichment and entrapment. This occurs in subsurface settings ranging from
the burial diagenetic through to the metamorphic and igneous realms.
It means various metal accumulations of Cu, Pb, Zn Au and U, with an
evaporite association, tend to plot at the larger end of their respective
deposit groupings.
Within this framework, this advanced module explores relationships
between evaporites and ore deposits, where ore is defined as a mineral,
or an aggregate of minerals, from which a valuable constituent, especially a metal, can be profitably mined or extracted. As well as lower
temperature deposits we also explores the significance of dissolving and
altering evaporites in ore deposits formed within the higher temperature igneous and metamorphic realms.
Salt anticline focus
stratabound Cu
Sediment hosted stratiform copper (SSC) deposits worldwide rank
second only to porphyry copper
deposits in terms of copper production and are the most important global source of cobalt.
Locally, most of these deposits are
stratabound (confined to a particular stratum), and are more or less
concordant or peneconcordant,
either with saline beds, or with the
edge of a salt mass or its residues.
2325.01 Low T Cu carriers
2325.02 Giant bedded ore
2325.03 Giant halokinetic ore
2325.04 Predictive textures Cadjebut galena
Pb and Zn
Many of the larger carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn deposits within the MVT
and SedEx groups of deposits are
associated with salt-sourced hypersaline ore fluids.
They tie to dissolving halokinetic
salt supplying and focusing metalliferous Cl-rich waters. Precipitation
site are former platform sulphate
levels of supplying CaSO4 during
sulphate reduction (BSR or TSR).
Low T Pb & Zn carriers
Evaporitic MVT deposits
2350.03Evaporitic SedEx deposits
2350.04 Base metals & diagenesis
Atlantis II Deep
McArthur HYC
Corocoro Copper
Ref: 6800.00
high T saline ores
Metalliferous fluid indicators and
ore deposits due to direct and
indirect interactions between
magma, evaporites, and their
hydrothermal and metamorphic
daughters, at regional and local
scales are neither well documented, nor well understood.
Mostly, this is because little or no
actual salt remains once these
high temperature interactions
have run their course.
2375.01 High-T saline systems
2375.02 Meta-evaporite gems
2375.03 Orthomagmatic ores
2375.03 Paramagmatic ores Re
salines (1 day)
The greater majority of nonpotash bedded salt resources (borates, sodium
carbonates, sodium sulphates and lithium brines) accumulated in continental lacustrine or playa settings. They owe their existence to the
unusual ionic compositions that come from groundwater leaching under
highly arid conditions, in appropriate bedrock terrains.
Borates, for example, form via the lacustrine concentration of spring
inflows that have passed through active volcanogenic terrain. Likewise,
the trona beds of Lake Magadi reflect non-acidic groundwater and hydrothermal/basin brine leaching (low sulphate, high bicarbonate waters).
In contrast, the largest sodium chloride chemical feedstock plants tend
to be at there most efficient in modern marine-margin arid settings in
Mexico and Australia.
blue halite
howlite nodules
Sodic salts
The various salts precipitate with
textures and mineral suites indicative of their formative hydrology
and tectonic settings. Utilising
this knowledge enables the construction of predictive models.
They are open-pit mined at the
Kramer mine in Boron California, in
the Kirka ore district of Turkey, and
Tincalayu in northern Argentina.
Natural sodium bicarbonate and
sodium sulphate salts as well as
sodium chloride supply significant volumes of feedstock to the
world’s industrial chemicals industries.
2425.01 Soda-ash geology
2425.02 Salt-cake geology
2425.03 Sodium chloride plants
2425.04 Climate & brine state
Major commercial borate deposits
occur in a limited number of Neogene to Holocene non-marine evaporitic settings, related to volcanic
rocks and pyroclastic deposits in
closed-basin alkaline lakes fed by
hydrothermal waters.
2450.01 Boron chemistry
2450.02 Sites of enrichment
2450.03 Tectonic association 2450.04 Predictive models
Atacama lithium pans
Lithium brines
In the last two decades Chile has
emerged as the world’s most important lithium carbonate producer from a lake brine, largely
through the exploitation of Salar
de Atacama, Chile, followed by
China with operations focused in
the Qaidam Basin and lesser scale
operations at Lake Zabuye.
Quaternary lithium brines accumulations are latitudinally restricted
to cool arid belts within endoheic
continental brine sumps.
2475.01 Brine chemistry
2475.02 Porosity limitations
2475.03 Predictive models
Trona mine, Wyoming
Kramer Mine, USA
Salar de Atacama
Lake Magadi
Zabuye lake, china
related topics
(half day)
Evaporite salts and their mineralogical variations tend to construct
complex zones of subsurface chemical reactivity, which evolve from the
time of the first precipitate until they are exploited or extracted.
This section list a number of salty topics that may be of interest to some
explorationists, developers and engineers working in specific types and
problems related to saline systems. The various topics can be expanded to
meet the clients interests, or added and included within a more conventional 3 day course designed for either the oil or minerals industries.
lapis halite
Solution mining
Salt solution mining is the mining
of various salts, via dissolution,
to create a purpose-built storage
cavity. It requires pumping the
brine liquor to the surface. There
the extracted brine can be concentrated or processed.
For example, solution mining for
potash can exploit folded and
disturbed beds or deep-lying salt
strata, situations not easily mined
using conventional techniques.
2525.01 Mining techniques
2525.02 Residues and blinding
2525.03 Operations & geology
2525.04 Monitoring Wink Sink 2, Texas
Salty Problems
And so, beyond the early greenschist phase, little of the original
sedimentary mineral phase remains
(except anhydrite), but scapolites.
tourmalines, albitites, etc, along
with indicator textures do remain.
Hence salt in regions where it is
mined or used to create cavities
for liquid or waste storage can occasionally be susceptible to cavity
enhancement and ground subsidence.
Evaporite salts can survive well
into the metamorphic realm, but
are altered, recrystallised or transformed into new minerals and brine
2550.02 Indicator minerals
2550.03 Gems from brine
2550.04 Case histories
All evaporites tend to dissolve and
the rate of this dissolutions tend
to increase greatly when salt beds
or a halokinetic masses are uplifted and approach the landsurface.
2575.01 Collapsing brinefields
2575.02 Leaky oilfield wells
2575.03 Leaky caverns
2575.04 Safety issues
2575.01 Solving the problem
Gallencourt induced sink
Well group
Tourmaline, Namibia
Solikamsk collapse, 2014
our promise
At SaltWorks we are committed to offering up-to-date and comprehensive training in all matters evaporitic.
We also offer a full range of related consultancy services and a comprehensive GIS database that encompasses all of the examples offered in
any of our training modules. All data plots and polygons are cross-reference to their source data.
Refer to our web page to see the complete range of services that we offer.
principal instructor
Dr. John Warren is the principal expert
and technical coordinator for Saltworks.
His career spans more than 30 years in
salty systems.
Interests include; Wireline Analysis, Carbonate and Evaporite Systems, Oil and
Gas, Economic Geology and Potash exploration and development.
He has written 4 books on economic aspects of evaporites, has contributed related chapters in a number of books and
has published more than 60 scientific articles in applied aspects of saline geology.
course materials
Each participant in the course receives a
complete set of digital course notes. This
material is a series of hi-resolution pdf
files that give the participant a copy of
every slide presented during their training course.
In addition, each participant receives
a digital copy of Dr. Warren’s 2015 book
“Evaporites: A compendium” published
by Springer (ISBN978-3-319-13512-0). This
all-color edition runs to more than 1500
pages and has been cited as the most
complete summary of evaporites currently available.
© SaltWork Consultants 2015
(ACN 068 889 127)
Kingston Park, Adelaide 5049 AUSTRALIA
Telephone: +61 8 121 5710 (Australia)
+66 8 9498 1512 (roaming/SMS)
Web page:
Email: [email protected]