Institute of Geophysics of the CAS, v. v. i.


Rheology of salt rocks and salt tectonics

Rheology of salt rocks and salt tectonics

Salt rocks significantly influence the style of sedimentary basin evolution, architecture development of deforming salt bearing basins, fluid-sealing capacity for gas storage and associated oil traps, drilling problems in petroleum industry, waste disposal in salt and salt mining, therefore a good understanding of its rheological properties is essential to estimate its long term behavior. In addition, the metamorphosis, deformation style and associated deformation mechanisms of rock salt in the entire diapiric system can be qualitatively compared with the deformation style of silicate rocks during orogenic exhumation. The investigation of deformed polycrystalline halite aggregates therefore helps understanding the role of deformation mechanisms that control deformation of rocks in general. Our research in salt rheology focuses on microstructural analysis and recrystallization mechanisms, which are strongly stimulated by interstitial fluid phase (brine) and solid impurities.

* Salt domes in Iran (Qum-Kuh and Kuh-e-namak - Dashti)

* Dyke – rock salt interaction (Loulé salt mine, Portugal)

* Folded fine-grained salt in Neuhof salt mine (Germany)

Fieldwork campaign in the Kuh-e-Namak (Dashti) salt glacier (namakier).