Salt Giants: formation, deformation, and resource potential
Convener: Hanneke HeidaECSECS | Co-conveners: Christopher Jackson, Laetitia GuibourdencheECSECS, Wout Krijgsman, Jimmy MoneronECSECS, Virginie Gaullier, Agnes Maillard, Jean-Loup Rubino
| Attendance Thu, 07 May, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)

Salt giants are evaporite-dominated deposits that reach volumes of up to thousands of cubic kilometers. They are found throughout the geological record, with depositing ranging in age from the Paleo-Proterozoic (~2000 Ma) to the Messinian (~6.0-5.5 Ma). Salt giants are also widespread, being found on all continents and under the seafloor of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and even in certain areas of the Arctic Ocean. Evaporites carry fingerprints of the chemical properties of the water body from which they precipitated. Their study provides important clues to reconstruct extreme paleoenvironmental conditions. Frequently associated with organic matter, they may be a key element to study deep life but also many petroleum systems and waste repositories due to their low permeabilities and excellent cap rock properties
The unique mechanical and chemical properties of halite, the dominant mineral in most salt giants, impacts many aspects of the related (marine) geology. Syn- and post-depositional viscous flow of salt and density contrasts cause diapirism; non-diapiric salt can act as an intra-stratal detachment surface, ‘lubricating’ sedimentary basins. Despite their great scientific and societal relevance, the origins of many salt giants are poorly understood, as is their subsequent development. This session aims to bring together scientists from various disciplines who work on salt giants of different age, provenance and stage of development. By doing this, we will collectively identify common challenges and possible solutions, and foster interdisciplinary collaboration.