Carbonate geology


Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Paleobiology and sedimentary geology (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DIP06
Year of study: without

Course principal:
Assist. Prof. Andrea Martín Pérez, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 30 hours, seminar 30 hours, tutorial 30 hours, individual work 180 hours
Course type: modul elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, e-learning, field work, laboratory: rocks in cores, hand samples and thin sections


Course syllabus (download)


Inscription to the 1st academic year.


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • Introduction to carbonate systems
  • Modern carbonate platforms and comparison with ancient carbonate depositional systems
  • Carbonate sediment components; limestone and dolomite classification
  • Carbonate environments and facies mosaics
  • Carbonate shelves and ramps
  • Carbonates, evaporites and siliciclastics
  • Platform interior carbonate facies
  • Reefs and sandbodies on platform margins and ramps
  • Slope and pelagic carbonates
  • Continental carbonates
  • Sequence stratigraphy
  • Introduction to diagenesis
  • Porosity and rock fabrics in carbonates
  • Limestone diagenesis, diagenetic environments and porosity evolution
  • Dolomitisation and dolostones
  • Karstification of carbonate rocks
  • Paleokarst
  • Sedimentology of carbonate reservoirs and aquifers
  • Tectonics of carbonate rocks



Selected chapters and papers:

  • Temeljni pregledni članki iz revij/fundamental reviews from journals Earth-Science Reviews, Sedimentology, Sedimentary Geology, Journal of Sedimentary Research.
  • James, N.P. and Dalrymple, R.W., 2010: Facies Models 4, Geological Society of Canada, GeoText 6, 3, 323-
  • Schlager, W., 2005: Carbonate Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphy, SEPM Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology, #8, 1-
  • Tucker, M.E. & Wright, V.P., 1990: Carbonate Sedimentology.- Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1-482, Oxford.
  • McIlreath, I.A. & Morrow, D.W., 1990: Diagenesis.- Geoscience Canada Reprint Series 4, Geological Association of Canada, 1-125; 277-316, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Ford, D.C., Williams, P., 2007. Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 1-102; 209-270; 321-400.
  • Palmer, A.N., 2007. Cave geology. Cave Books, 1-454, Dayton, Ohio.


Objectives and competences:

The purpose of the course is to provide

a deeper, advanced knowledge in geology of sedimentary carbonates with a final emphasis in porosity and applied aspects. It takes students from basic concepts and principles of classification and terminology through carbonate platform facies and geometries to diagenesis (including karstification), porosity evolution and tectonics. Additional emphasis is put on past (paleokarst) and recent karstification of carbonates worldwide and in Slovenia Topic of the course will combine lectures, field examples and laboratory examination of the corresponding materials.


Intended learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding:

The students will learn to: distinguish the main types of carbonate platform geometries and their variability; operate with carbonate facies concepts and models on different scales – from thin section to seismic-scale; understand the primary controls on carbonate deposition in space and time; understand types of karstification based on lithology and climate; distinguish development of primary and secondary porosity in carbonate rocks; understand principles of dolomitisation processes and products; summarise the main aspects of carbonate reservoirs and compare them with those developed in siliciclastic rocks. They will be able to identify the influence of carbonate rocks characteristics in karst processes and landforms.



Written exam (40 %), laboratory assignments (30 %), written paper/project (30 %).