Research project

Project fact sheet

Carbonate diagenesis in the matrix and fractures of the Jebel Madar salt-dome  (Oman)

Project researcher(s): 
Dr Veerle Vandeginste
Project supervisor(s): 
Dr Cédric M. John
Project supervisor(s): 
Professor John Cosgrove
October, 2010 - September, 2013

This project is an integral part of the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC), and is financed by Qatar Petroleum, Shell, and the Qatar Science and Technology Park.   

The project focuses on the role of fractures in controlling diagenetic fluid flow in Jebel Madar (in the Foothills south of the Oman Mountains). This region provides a unique opportunity to understand the process of fracturing and fluid flow in the carapace of a salt dome. Important fluid flow within the fractures is evidenced in this region by multiple generation of calcite cements infilling the fractures, some with crystals up to 30 cm in size.

The goal is to understand the role of the history of salt emplacement in driving fluid flow in the carapace of salt domes, and to what extent this impacts on fractures and their infilling by diagenetic cements. The fundamental knowledge can then be used to improve predictions of the presence and state (i.e. filled or opened) of fractures in the subsurface around salt domes in Qatar.

The outcrops selected are from the carapace of a salt dome, at the foothills of the Oman Mountains. The stratigraphic interval investigated are from the Lower Cretaceous.


The diagenetic aspect of this project is currently studied by Mr. Assylzhan Dauletov, who investigates metre-scale fracture related dolomite bodies, and by Mr. Harold Bradbury, who does research on the calcite and barite infillings of the fractures. Both diagenetic studies are guided by Dr. Veerle Vandeginsteand Dr. Cédric John. The structural components from this project form part of Ms Manuela Stehle's PhD study. Dr. Cédric John is the primary supervisor for this project which is done in collaboration with Prof John Cosgrove, a structural geologist at Imperial College London.