Seismic reflection data allow for the 3D imaging of monogenetic edifices and their corresponding plumbing systems. This is a powerful tool in understanding how monogenetic volcanoes are fed and how pre-existing crustal structures can act as the primary influence on their spatial and temporal distribution. This study examines the structure and lithology of host-rock as an influence on edifice alignment and provides insight into the structure of shallow, sub-volcanic monogenetic plumbing systems. The anticlinal Ben Nevis Structure, located in the northerly extent of the Faroe–Shetland Basin, NE Atlantic Margin, was uplifted during the Late Cretaceous and Early Paleocene by the emplacement of a laccolith and a series of branching sills fed by a central conduit. Seismic data reveal that multiple intrusions migrated up the flanks of the Ben Nevis Structure after its formation, c. 58.4 Ma (Kettla-equivalent), and fed a series of scoria cones and submarine volcanic cones. These monogenetic edifices are distributed around the crest of the Ben Nevis Structure. The edifices are fed from a complex network of sills and transgressive sheets, involving lateral magma migration of tens of kilometres before extrusion at the surface. This work highlights the importance of underlying basin structures in influencing the sites and development of subaerial monogenetic fields, and the importance of lateral magma flow within volcanic systems.
McLean, C. E., Schofield, N., Brown, D. J., Jolley, D. W., & Reid, A. (2017). 3D seismic imaging of the shallow plumbing system beneath the Ben Nevis Monogenetic Volcanic Field: Faroe-Shetland Basin. Journal of the Geological Society , 174(3), 468-485. https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2016-118