Palaeogeographic evolution of the Rattray Volcanic Province, Central North Sea

Ailsa K. Quirie* (Corresponding Author), Nick Schofield, David W. Jolley, Stuart G. Archer, Malcolm J. Hole, Adrian Hartley, Douglas Watson, Roger Burgess, Jessica H. Pugsley, John R. Underhill, Simon P. Holford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Rattray Volcanics Member, at the triple junction of the North Sea rift, is here subdivided into two informal sub-members based on analysis of core, wireline and seismic data. The Lower and Upper Rattray Volcanics were emplaced during two distinct phases of volcanism separated by a sustained volcanic hiatus. The presence of hyaloclastite and abundant freshwater algae at the base of the Lower Rattray indicates large lakes were present in the area prior to the volcanism, possibly indicating that collapse of the regional Jurassic Central North Sea dome began prior to volcanism. Pulsed subsidence likely occurred through the duration of the volcanism with lacustrine conditions becoming re-established during the mid-volcanic hiatus. Sediments were deposited across the Rattray Volcanic Province in fluvial systems and floodplain coal swamps after the final cessation of volcanism, with later marine transgression leading to drowning of the area in the Callovian to Oxfordian. In terms of hydrocarbon prospectivity, no evidence is currently found to confirm the presence of an intra-basaltic play analogous to the Rosebank Field in the Faroe-Shetland Basin, although post-volcanic Pentland Formation sedimentary sequences in the Fisher Bank Basin area indicates the possibility of supra-basaltic prospectivity in the triple junction.Supplementary material: editing by Sebastian Watt
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Early online date14 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Apr 2020


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