Carbonate sedimentary geology


Earth and environmental sciences (2nd level)

Paleobiology and sedimentary geology (2nd Cycle)

Course code: MTP03
Year of study: 2nd year

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


Workload: lectures 40 hours, seminar 15 hours, tutorial 45 hours, individual work 120 hours.
Course type: elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: Lectures, field work, laboratory practicals: petrography and facies analysis


Course syllabus (download)


First-cycle Bologna degree or a university degree in the natural sciences.


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • Introduction: history of carbonate geoscience and trends in modern sedimentology
  • Carbonate sediments and rocks: constituents and fabrics
  • Carbonate mineralogy and chemistry
  • Limestone and dolomite classification
  • Controls in carbonate production, transport and accumulation
  • Modern carbonate environments
  • Marine carbonate depositional environments
  • Carbonate platforms: continuum in geometry
  • Sequence stratigraphy
  • Continental carbonates
  • Facies models: facies associations, mosaics and successions
  • Key concepts of biomineralisation
  • Diagenesis
  • Dolomites and dolomitisation models
  • Geological history of carbonates
  • Applied carbonate sedimentology



Selected chapters and papers:

  • Flügel, E., 2010: Microfacies of Carbonate Rocks, Analysis, Interpretation, and Application, Springer, 2nd, 1- 984.
  • James, N.P. and Dalrymple, R.W., 2010: Facies Models 4, Geological Society of Canada, GeoText 6, 3, 323-576.
  • James, N.P., and Jones, B., 2016: Origin of Carbonate Sedimentary Rocks. Wiley, 1-446.
  • McIlreath, I.A. & Morrow, D.W., 1990: Diagenesis.- Geoscience Canada Reprint Series 4, Geological Association of Canada, pp. 338, Ottawa, Canada, 1-125, 277-316.
  • Reading, H.G. 1986: Sedimentary environments: Processes, Facies and stratigraphy (3rd Edition). Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford, 1-35, 83-124, 325-394.
  • Schlager, W., 2005: Carbonate Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphy, SEPM Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology, #8, 1-200.
  • Scholle, P.A., D.G. Bebout, and C.H. Moore (eds.), 1983: Carbonate Depositional Environments: AAPG Memoir 33, 1-708.
  • Scholle, P.A. & Ulmer-Scholle, D.S., 2003: A Color Guide to the Petrography of Carbonate Rocks: Grains, textures, porosity, diagenesis.- Memoir 77, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, OK, 1-474.
  • Tucker, M. E., 2001: Sedimentary Petrology: Oxford, Blackwell Science, 1-6, 110-165.
  • Tucker, M.E. & Wright, V.P., 1990: Carbonate Sedimentology.- Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, 1-482.
  • Warren, J., 2000, Dolomite: occurrence, evolution and economically important associations: Earth-Science Reviews, v. 52, 1-81.


Objectives and competences:

The objective of this course is to provide a broad overview of key concepts in sedimentogy and stratigraphy of carbonates. The course will combine lectures, field examination of carbonate successions (series of short, daily trips from Ljubljana dealing with particular topic) and petrographical analysis of corresponding samples in the lab. The first part of the course will deal with carbonate mineralogy and petrography, identification of the components, recognition of fabrics and their origin. Second part will cover the interpretation of depositional environments of carbonate sediments. Finally, the course will tackle diagenetic processes and environments with special stress on dolomitisation and applied aspects.


Intended learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding:

  • Knowledge of the petrographic characteristics of carbonates and their genetic implications.
  • Understanding the main processes involved in carbonate production, transport and accumulation.
  • Ability to describe, identify and classify different types of limestone in hand specimen, thin section, and in the field.
  • Ability to distinguish depositional and diagenetic features.
  • Distinguish the main types of carbonate platform geometries and their variability.
  • Gain experience collecting and analysing field data.



Written exam (40 %), laboratory and field assignments (30 %), written reports (30 %).