Deep structure of the Porcupine Basin from wide-angle seismic data

Louise Watremez*, Manel Prada, Tim Minshull, Brian O'Reilly, Chen Chen, Tim Reston, Pat Shannon, Gerlind Wagner, Viola Gaw, Dirk Klaeschen, Rose Edwards, Sergei Lebedev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Porcupine Basin, part of the frontier petroleum exploration province west of Ireland, has an extended history that commenced prior to the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean. Lithospheric stretching factors have previously been estimated to increase from <2 in the north to >6 in the south of the basin. Thus, it is an ideal location to study the processes leading to hyper-extension on continental margins. The Porcupine Median Ridge (PMR) is located in the south of the basin and has been alternatively interpreted as a volcanic feature, a serpentinite mud diapir or a tilted block of continental crust. Each of these interpretations has different implications for the thermal history of the basin. We present results from travel-time tomographic modelling of two approximately 300 km-long wide-angle seismic profiles across the northern and southern parts of the basin. Our results show: (1) the geometry of the crust, with maximum crustal stretching factors of up to 6 and 10 along the northern and southern profiles, respectively; (2) asymmetry of the basin structures, suggesting some simple shear during extension; (3) low velocities beneath the Moho that could represent either partially serpentinized mantle or mafic under-plating; and (4) a possible igneous composition of the PMR.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPetroleum Geology of NW Europe
Subtitle of host publication50 Years of Learning - Proceedings of the 8th Petroleum Geology Conference
EditorsM. Bowman, B. Levell
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherGeological Society of London
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781786202772
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2018
Event8th Petroleum Geology Conference
- Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Sept 201530 Sept 2015

Publication series

NamePetroleum Geology Conference Proceedings
PublisherGeological Society of London
ISSN (Electronic)2047-9921


Conference8th Petroleum Geology Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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