ESR 3 - Influence of emplacement of large igneous provinces on source-to-sink systems: the case study of Shetland during the Palaeocene


Erosion rates and sediment volumes supplied from onshore areas are strongly controlled by upland relief. Magmatic activity, especially in areas of Large Igneous Provinces, can cause large and temporally variable pulses of uplift and subsidence, and how these influence source-to-sink systems have not yet been studied in detail. The Palaeocene succession east of Shetland contain shallow and deep-marine deposits which shows apparent linked pulses of sediment delivery. These pulses are hypothesized to be caused by transient magmatic uplift of the Shetland platform. The objective of this ESR is to use 3D seismic surveys, available well data, biostratigraphic data, and regional 2D seismic lines to define timing of activity and supplied sediment volumes through time of these systems, in order to better understand influence of magmatic uplift on source-to-sink systems. A secondary objective is to investigate the response of these shallow to deep-marine systems to the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which is a period when global temperatures increased by 5–8 °C, likely due to large-scale CO2 release. This provides a way to investigate both response to tectonic forcing and climatic forcing on such source-to-sink systems. Specifically, the ESR will complete the following tasks:

  • interpret presence and volumes of Palaeocene sedimentary systems in seismic and well data around Shetland
  • correlate these sedimentary systems using seismic data and biostratigraphic data
  • investigate magnitude of sediment volumes supplied through time and how these relate to uplift, climate and landscape development.


Expected Results:

  • Sediment volumes supplied from Shetland through time during the Palaeocene
  • Regional correlation of Paleocene deep-marine systems along Shetland Platform
  • Influence of magmatic uplift and subsidence on source-to-sink systems
  • Tectonic versus climatic (PETM) influence on the deep-marine systems supplied from the Shetland Platform. Important input to and from PETM projects (ESR9&10), including 1 week visit to UNIGE.


Impact: Better understanding of response of source-to-sink systems to regional uplift and large-scale magmatic events. An improved understanding of reservoirs and their connectivity in the area is important to the industry sponsors.


  • Equinor (T. O. Sømme) Seismic data and biostratigraphic data at company (1 month)
  • Volcanic Basin Petroleum Research (B Bellwald / S Planke) Seismic data at company & expertise on volcanic margins (1 month)
  • Université de Rennes 1 (F. Guillocheau & C. Robin)- Regional integration at scale of West European plate (1 month)




S2S-FUTURE project gathers an outstanding European research and training network of 15 PhD students, hosted at world-leading academic institutions and industrial companies, whose aim is to develop the S2S paradigm as a powerful vector for understanding sedimentary accumulations as natural resources.

The project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860383.