Sessions > Transversal sessions
Description. Huge salt accumulations known as salt giants have formed since at least the Neo-Proterozoic. Understanding their formation presents major interdisciplinary challenges in the fields of sedimentology, tectonophysics, hydrodynamics, and geochemistry. Their importance as hydrocarbon traps, geo-hazards and possible locations of deep CO2 storage makes them a preferred research target for the applied geosciences. Their role as deep biosphere hotspots is very promising but remains under-explored. The Mediterranean Salt Giant (MSG), formed 5 to 6 million years ago, is the most recent giant salt deposit accumulated in Earths’ history. It offers the best chance for understanding how these deposits form because it is still contained in its original sedimentary basin, it is relatively poorly deformed, and it is accessible by scientific drilling vessels.
After two pioneering scientific drilling investigations in 1970 and 1975 (DSDP Legs 13 and 42A, respectively) and four decades of research carried out by numerous groups, the international scientific community is coming together to propose a multi-platform drilling project - the only scientific enterprise that holds potential to decipher the enigma of salt giant formation. Before drilling can occur, it is crucial to join forces to analyze the vast amount of geophysical, geological and geochemical data available on the MSG and earlier salt giants, in order to build a unified theory of salt giant formation. We encourage participation of researchers from academia and the industry on any aspect related to understanding the formation and deformation of salt giants and their geological, geochemical and biological impacts.
Conveners. Laetitia LE DEIT (University of Nantes, FRA), Devon M. BURR (University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA), Véronique ANSAN (University of Nantes, FRA), Ralph D. LORENZ (Johns Hopkins University Laurel, USA)
Description. Knowledge of the sedimentary record on extraterrestrial bodies strongly evolved in the last decade. Data from numerous exploration missions, both early and recent, demonstrate that not only Mars and Titan but also Pluto, comets, and asteroids have complex sedimentary formations that provide evidence of sediment cycling.
This session invites contributions on extraterrestrial sedimentology based on orbital or in situ observations of Mars, Titan, or any other extraterrestrial body. We also solicit any work on laboratory data, modeling and terrestrial analogues that are keys for understanding sedimentary processes on planetary bodies.
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