Core workshop in the Mangistau region of Western Kazakhstan


As part of a Sedimentology and Stratigraphy course, 2nd year SMG students participated in a 3-day combined geological field trip and core workshop in the Mangistau region of Western Kazakhstan. They logged and mapped cliff exposures in Aktau, described 6 core intervals from an oil field, and examined numerous geological phenomena. They saw and discussed a number of processes, such as coastal erosion, weathering, concretions, interplay of tectonics, tsunami, climate, compressional and extensional folding and faulting, dissolution induced collapses, and sedimentation. Additionally, they encountered a number of different environments, including desert, beach, playas, valleys, ancient aeolian, shoreface, incised valley, detrital carbonates, karst, chalk, multiple stacked deltaic deposits, paleo-soils, deep marine, coal, source rocks, and algal mats. Our route passed through the Karigiye depression (134m below sea-level) and numerous oil fields. Work in a natural laboratory, coupled with exercises and assignments, allowed students to experience advancing scientific observation, critical thinking, and problem solving skills required for XXI Century Geoscientists. SMG is thankful to KazMunaiGas for hosting the core workshop.