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The impacts of volcanism on sedimentary basins and their energy resources

08 - 09 September 2022
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Event type:
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, Energy Group
The Geological Society, Burlington House
Event status:
Abstract Deadline - 2 May 2022

A large number of global sedimentary basins are impacted by igneous systems in the form of extrusives, intrusives and volcaniclastics. Considerable research regarding the impact of these volcanics on hydrocarbon plays has been completed in recent years including the role of intrusions in basinal heat flow and fluid migration, diversion of sediment pathways in volcanic terrains, and influence of igneous material on sealing units and reservoir quality. Sub-basalt stratigraphy also continues to be an enigma in many parts of the world both in terms of seismic imaging and play element definition. There is now an opportunity to disseminate and share learnings globally, which could unlock energy opportunities in in other hydrocarbon basins impacted by volcanism. Increasingly these concepts can also help to develop geothermal plays or delineate carbon capture and hydrogen storage. For example, the knowledge built up by the hydrocarbon industry on reservoir and seal characterisation in volcanically affected basins will have a strong influence on geothermal opportunities and gas storage site definition. The aim of the conference is to encourage global submissions to applied problems across the span of the energy transition. In particular the committee encourage expressions of interest for submissions regarding:

  • Margin and basin-wide examples of volcanic systems and their impact on resource plays (hydrocarbons, geothermal, hydrogen, CCUS)
  • Global examples of the impact of volcanics on reservoirs and seals from pore to basin-scale
  • The influence of volcanics on basinal heat flow and our understanding of geothermal gradients, hydrocarbon charge and impact on geothermal systems.
  • Examples of new tools to aid our understanding of volcanic impacted basins (at all scales from seismic imaging to diagenetic analysis).

Field Trip

Join us for a two day post-conference fieldtrip exploring the impact of volcanism on the georesources of the Late Devonian-Carboniferous basin within the Midland Valley in central Scotland. The fieldtrip will visit exposures of intrusive, extrusive and volcaniclastic rocks in Edinburgh and Fife to illustrate how volcanism and magmatism can affect basinal heat flow, the timing of fluid migration, and the impact of igneous material on sealing units and reservoir quality. Proximity to seismic and well data from the Firth of Forth also enables direct correlation between the onshore and offshore, and provides the opportunity to examine the subsurface expression of volcanic rocks. The impact of volcanism on the hydrocarbon and CCS potential of the Midland Valley will be discussed, and inferences made will be applied to other volcanically-affected basins.

Day 1:  In the morning we will examine coastal exposures of the Midlothian “Oil-shale”, a lacustrine source rock famously subjected to unconventional oil production in the 19th century, and how igneous intrusions impact the thermal maturity of organically enriched stratigraphy. In the afternoon, we will explore the intrusive complex around Arthur’s Seat, and link outcrop observations of intrusive igneous rocks to their subsurface expression.

Day 2: We will visit impressive exposures of phreatomagmatic diatremes, examining their structure, distribution and the impact they have had on the surrounding sedimentary stratigraphy. In the afternoon, we will then visit the Kinghorn Volcanic Formation, a conformable extrusive volcanic succession within the Bathgate Group, to examine interlava sedimentary units and what they tell us about the development of synvolcanic sedimentary systems.

Please refer to the downloads section on the right-hand side of this page for specific details and information. You can register for the field trip by using the below link.

The price for the field trip is a flat fee of £253.50 per person

Register for field trip


John Underhill, University of Aberdeen

Sandra Snaebjörnsdóttir, Carbfix

Nick Schofield, University of Aberdeen

Craig Magee, University of Leeds

Monia Procesi, Istituto Nazionale de Geofisica e Vulcanologia


Ben Kilhams, Shell

David Gardiner, IGI

Simon Gozzard, CGG

Simon Holford, University of Adelaide

Charlotte McLean, Heriot Watt University

David McNamara, Liverpool University

Scott Thackrey, Total Energies

Douglas Watson, University of Aberdeen


In person:

 Student Fellow
 Student Non-Fellow 
 Corporate Patron

 Student Fellow
 Student Non-Fellow
 Corporate Patron

Call for abstracts - deadline 2 May 2022

Abstract submissions are now open for oral and poster presentations. To submit an abstract, please email Abstract guidelines can be downloaded. 

Register now

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