Khalifa University Hosts 17th ILP Workshop on Sedimentary Basins

January 24, 2024

Participating Scientists, Researchers, and Industry Stakeholders Further Enriched by Field Trips to UAE’s Fossil Dunes and Sedimentary Basins 


The need for exploring various aspects of crustal evolution through geoscientific approaches, especially through intense study of sedimentary basins, was highlighted during the 17th Workshop of the International Lithosphere Program (ILP) Task Force IV on Sedimentary Basins hosted by Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi.


The workshop commenced with the presence of Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Honorary Workshop Chair and Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University.


Khalifa University researchers presented 10 papers at the workshop, themed ‘Today for Tomorrow’ and aligned with the UAE’s announcement of 2023 as the Year of Sustainability. With 120 attendees, 30 of them for the Sabkha Field Trip, and over 40 participants for the Fujairah and Ras Al Khaima field trips, the programs included over 30 technical presentations and 20 poster presentations. The delegates, who were part of the post-workshop field trip, also visited the ophiolites, metamorphic, and sedimentary successions at Fujairah-Ras Al Khaimah, and Wadi Rahaba that further enriched their understanding of the basins.


The event held at the University’s Sas Al Nakhl (SAN) Campus was organized in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the International Lithosphere Program (ILP), the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, the Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, and the ILP, gathering renowned scientists, researchers, students, and industry stakeholders from across the world.


Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi commended the Earth Sciences Department for the advancements made. This includes leveraging intelligent systems and machine learning, while combining satellite images with advanced image processing and geospatial analysis, to better detect and map UAE’s archaeological features as well as arid regions.


He acknowledged Khalifa University’s development of a cost-effective analysis tool that detects fractures within geological reservoirs, particularly fractured carbonate reservoirs, which holds immense value for the energy industry.


In his welcome address, Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidi, Workshop Chair and Assistant Professor,
Earth Science, highlighted that the participants had an opportunity to gain valuable insights from some of the ancient sedimentary basins of the UAE, especially following the pre-workshop field trip to the carbonate factory at Sabkha- Al Wathba Fossil Dune, Abu Dhabi.


The ILP workshops, held annually in distinct geological regions, provides a platform to study sedimentary basins, offering participants the opportunity to explore lithosphere, tectonics and sedimentary processes, diagenesis and fluid/rock interactions. Other themes covered in the workshop included energy, groundwater, geological subsurface storage, geohazards, as well as geo tourism.


The workshop also included several presentations on various topics related to applications of geosciences to resolve societal challenges such as natural hazards, energy transition, and environmental issues. 


Alisha Roy
Science Writer
24 January 2024