Sills in Sedimentary Basins and Petroleum Systems

  • Nick SchofieldEmail author
  • Dougal A. Jerram
  • Simon Holford
  • Stuart Archer
  • Niall Mark
  • Adrian Hartley
  • John Howell
  • David Muirhead
  • Paul Green
  • Donny Hutton
  • Carl Stevenson
Part of the Advances in Volcanology book series (VOLCAN)


Our knowledge of igneous emplacement in sedimentary basins has been revolutionised by studies of offshore 3D seismic reflection data, where large scale structures and relationships are realised. These offshore data sets require detailed information from onshore analogues to fully understand subsurface structure of such intrusions and their potential effect on petroleum systems. The Inner Hebrides of Western Scotland, which contains an onshore record of the extensive Palaeogene magmatic activity that affected much of the North Atlantic, allows us to examine some of the classic sill geometries on a seismic to sub-seismic (outcrop) scale. As hydrocarbon exploration moves to more challenging basins, it is clear the need exists for us to fully understand the role in which intrusive volcanism plays in active hydrocarbon systems. Intrusions in general can have major effects on prospective sedimentary basins by forming interconnected low-permeability zones which can compartmentalise significant volumes of source and reservoir rock. We present a series of outcrop case studies which allow the potential influences of sills on what would represent potential source and reservoir rock intervals to be addressed and discuss the wider implications for sill emplacement in such basins.



We would like to thank both Sergio Rocchi and Christoph Breitkreuz for guidance on the paper and patience. As we believe, during the drilling of the Upper Glen-1 well, a rig worker was killed during a rig-site accident. This paper is dedicated to that individual. This paper is also dedicated to the memories of Ken Thomson and Bill Owens. Both who along with Donny Hutton, did initial work on the peninsula and Owens accompanied Schofield in first trip to Trotternish Peninsula. Chloe Parker is thanked for discussions. Funding from NERC studentship (NER/S/A/2005/13237) held at the University of Birmingham is gratefully acknowledged. DTM data from NEXTmap, via NERC earth observation data centre. Dougal Jerram is supported by the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence funding scheme, project number 223272 (CEED).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nick Schofield
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dougal A. Jerram
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Simon Holford
    • 5
  • Stuart Archer
    • 6
  • Niall Mark
    • 1
  • Adrian Hartley
    • 1
  • John Howell
    • 1
  • David Muirhead
    • 1
  • Paul Green
    • 7
  • Donny Hutton
    • 8
  • Carl Stevenson
    • 8
  1. 1.Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of GeosciencesUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  2. 2.Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED)University of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.DougalEARTH Ltd.SolihullUK
  4. 4.Earth, Environmental and Biological SciencesQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  5. 5.Australian School of PetroleumUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  6. 6.Dana PetroleumAberdeenUK
  7. 7.Geotrack InternationalBrunswick WestAustralia
  8. 8.Earth SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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