Seismic imaging of 'broken bridges': linking seismic to outcrop-scale investigations of intrusive magma lobes

Nick Schofield, Lucy Heaton (Collaborator), Simon P. Holford (Collaborator), Stuart G. Archer (Collaborator), Christopher A.-L. Jackson (Collaborator), David W. Jolley (Collaborator)

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Three-dimensional seismic datasets have provided unrivalled insights into magma flow within sub-volcanic systems. One of the key revelations is that sills appear to be constructed of a series of discrete magma lobes that form during the emplacement of magma into host-rock. We focus on a large sill, within the Faroe–Shetland Basin, North Atlantic, that is well imaged on seismic data, and identify the presence of ‘broken bridges’ within the sill, developed between elongate magma lobes, and reveal for the first time in three dimensions the development of broken bridges. Critically, by relating the imaged structures to key outcrop-scale examples we confirm that bridge and broken-bridge structures are oriented perpendicular to the magma flow direction. This work thus demonstrates a key link that can be made between seismic-scale investigation of intrusions and sub-seismic (outcrop-scale) processes, highlighting the seemingly scale-invariant nature of the magmatic emplacement process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-426
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


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