Development of intra-basaltic lava-field drainage systems within the Faroe–Shetland Basin

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58 Citations (Scopus)


The Faroe–Shetland Basin, located on the NW continental shelf of the UK, represents arguably the last frontier area of hydrocarbon exploration of the UK territorial waters. The basin contains an aerially extensive lava sequence, which forms part of the Palaeogene-aged North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP). In 2004, a major oil and gas discovery was made within the Palaeocene–Eocene lavas in the form of the Rosebank Field. Unusually, the reservoir intervals are a series of intra-basaltic fluvial clastic sequences separated by basalt lava flows, hyaloclastites and volcaniclastic sediments, giving rise to a new hydrocarbon play concept. The discovery has led to an increased emphasis on trying to understand the detailed stratigraphy of the offshore lava fields within the Faroe–Shetland Basin, as well as the nature of the regional intra-basaltic drainage systems and sediments that form the reservoir intervals in Rosebank.

In this paper we show a regional integrated three-dimensional (3D) seismic and well analysis of the lava sequences within the area of the Corona Ridge, exploring the age relationships and spatial distribution of the sequence T40 and T45 Palaeocene lava field. In particular, we note the occurrence of an intra-basaltic (sequence T40, Colsay Member) drainage network that appears to represent a major drainage pathway within the Faroe–Shetland Basin lava fields.

Few published studies have dealt with drainage system development on lava but our preliminary analysis appears to indicate that lava flow-field morphology plays a dominant role in controlling the development and evolution of a drainage system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalPetroleum Geoscience
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


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