Hunter, Rachael

Project Title

Investigating the Role of Structural Inheritance and Crustal Heterogeneity in the Evolution of the Northern North Sea – project undertaken as part of the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas


Structural inheritance and crustal heterogeneity, where pre-existing lineaments/weaknesses are exploited during successive phases of tectonic deformation, are considered to exert a primary control during basin evolution. However many structural models, largely due to insufficient early seismic resolution, still invoke substrate homogeneity and consequently the effects on fault geometry, sedimentation and hydrocarbon systems remain incompletely understood.

This research aims to investigate these controls during sedimentary basin evolution utilizing the Northern North Sea (NNS) as a test-bed. Both its multi-phased tectonic evolution and extensive subsurface data library from decades of hydrocarbon exploration, including modern high resolution seismic volumes, combine to make this an ideal laboratory for this study. Results of this research will contribute to the NERC CDT ‘Extending the Life of Mature Basins' research theme advancing our understanding of these controls during NNS evolution and the implications for prospectivity, and also further our understanding of these controls during rift transection and subsequent deformation.


Professor John Underhill and Dr Rachel Jamieson