3D seismic imaging of the shallow plumbing system beneath the Ben Nevis Monogenetic Volcanic Field: Faroe-Shetland Basin

Charlotte E. McLean, Nick Schofield, David J. Brown, David W Jolley, Alexander Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Seismic reflection data allow for the 3D imaging of monogenetic edifices and their corresponding plumbing systems. This is a powerful tool in understanding how monogenetic volcanoes are fed and how pre-existing crustal structures can act as the primary influence on their spatial and temporal distribution. This study examines the structure and lithology of host-rock as an influence on edifice alignment and provides insight into the structure of shallow, sub-volcanic monogenetic plumbing systems. The anticlinal Ben Nevis Structure, located in the northerly extent of the Faroe–Shetland Basin, NE Atlantic Margin, was uplifted during the Late Cretaceous and Early Paleocene by the emplacement of a laccolith and a series of branching sills fed by a central conduit. Seismic data reveal that multiple intrusions migrated up the flanks of the Ben Nevis Structure after its formation, c. 58.4 Ma (Kettla-equivalent), and fed a series of scoria cones and submarine volcanic cones. These monogenetic edifices are distributed around the crest of the Ben Nevis Structure. The edifices are fed from a complex network of sills and transgressive sheets, involving lateral magma migration of tens of kilometres before extrusion at the surface. This work highlights the importance of underlying basin structures in influencing the sites and development of subaerial monogenetic fields, and the importance of lateral magma flow within volcanic systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-485
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements and Funding
This work was completed as part of C.E.M.’s PhD research, funded by a College of Science and Engineering PhD scholarship at the University of Glasgow. Statoil is thanked for providing the Brendan’s Dome 3D volume. PGS is thanked for donation of the CRRG 2D GeoStreamer®data used in Figure3.Seismic interpretation was carried out at the University of Aberdeen using IHS Kingdom Software and FFA Geoteric. C. Magee and an anonymous reviewer are thanked for positive and helpful reviews of the paper.


Dive into the research topics of '3D seismic imaging of the shallow plumbing system beneath the Ben Nevis Monogenetic Volcanic Field: Faroe-Shetland Basin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this