The Triassic Research Group is focussed on understanding the controls on sediment distribution and type in the Triassic strata of the UK and Norwegian offshore and onshore regions. Research is focussed on a number of different aspects: biostratigraphy, provenance, sedimentology and structure with the aim of predicting the distribution of different sedimentary facies, their likely geometries and petrophysical characteristics. An important aspect of the research is to integrate the different datasets to provide a regional understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of sedimentary systems within a revised structural and stratigraphic framework.
A number of industry projects are currently funded (outlined below) and support 2 post-doctoral researchers and 7 PhD students.
- Triassic Phase 3
The Triassic Phase 3 project builds on two successful earlier phases and comprises a Joint Industry Research Project sponsored by BP, Total, JXNippon, Neptune Energy and CNOOC. It is focussed in the UK sector of the Central North Sea and will examine the structural and halokinetic controls on sandstone body distribution, with enhanced correlation and provenance techniques providing inputs to reservoir modelling studies.
Summary of Phase 2: The work combined biostratigraphic, heavy mineral and sedimentological datasets to deliver an improved understanding of the Triassic succession in the UK CNS. In particular, the pre-existing correlation framework was revised and enhanced providing improved spatial and temporal resolution for more confident correlation of mudstone and sandstone units. At a basin scale the location of sediment input points was defined and a series of large distributive fluvial systems sourced from the Scottish and Norwegian landmasses mapped. These coalesce to form an axial system in the centre of the basin. At field and block scale discrete sediment packages were mapped at a sub-member scale and areas where these units overlap/interfinger (likely represent individual channel-belt avulsion lobes) have been identified. Preliminary work suggests some diachroneity is present within the members and that simple correspondence between litho-, bio- and chronostratigraphic methods is unlikely with increasing biostratigraphic resolution.
Schematic depositional systems produced using palaeocurrent measurements, facies analysis, heavy mineral analysis and DFS models. Judy Sandstone Member systems show an axial DFS pinned in the Central Graben region by lateral DFS sourced from Scottish and Fennoscandian highlands. The Joanne Sandstone Member systems show an increase in dominance of the Fennoscandian eastern-sourced DFS and a decrease in western-sourced DFS. This leads to the Fennoscandian DFS dominating the axial DFS. FMH, Forties Montrose High; FGS, Fladen Ground Spur; HH, Halibut Horst. From Gray et al. 2020
R. Burgess, D. Jolley, A. Hartley 2020 Stratigraphic palynology of the Middle–Late Triassic successions of the Central North Sea. Petroelum Geoscience, 10.1144/petgeo2019-128
Gray, E., Hartley, A., Howell, J., 2020. The Influence of Stratigraphy and Facies Distribution on Reservoir Quality and Production Performance in the Triassic Skagerrak Formation of the UK and Norwegian Central North Sea. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 494 Gray et al
- FORCE Triassic
The FORCE Triassic Joint Industry Project is sponsored by: Neptune Energy, Spirit, Mol Norge, Vår Energie, DNO, AkerBP and WintershallDea
Triassic reservoirs form one of the last remaining exploration targets and an important secondary objective across much of the UK and Norwegian North Sea. However poor seismic resolution, lack of age control and reliance on lithostratigraphic correlation schemes have hindered attempts to understand and predict these reservoirs. Utilising a multidisciplinary approach including sedimentology, interpretation of seismic reflection data, biostratigraphy and heavy mineral analysis, coupled with AI and machine learning applied to Triassic strata of the Norwegian sector a new, high resolution stratigraphic scheme will be developed. Work will combine palynology from mudstones and heavy mineral, geochemical and detrital zircon data from sandstones. These datasets will be used to establish the highest available temporal and spatial framework for the North Sea Triassic to date. Utilising this framework, a core-based sedimentological scheme combined with analysis of seismic data to identify structural and halokinetic controls will novel neural network methodologies for facies identification in uncored intervals will allow regional mapping of discrete fluvial depositional systems.
For further information please contact Professor Adrian Hartley.
Triassic Research Group - People
The group consists of personnel from:
The University of Aberdeen
|Prof. Adrian Hartley
|Prof. John Howell
|Prof. David Jolley
|Prof. Andrew Morton
|Dr. Nick Schofield
|Dr. Rachel Brackenridge
|Dr. Gail Maxwell
|Dr. Dougie Watson
The University of Bergen
|Dr. Christian Eide
University of Oslo
|Prof. Ivar Midtkandal
Recently completed PhD Theses
Burgess, Roger. 2019. Biostratigraphy and environmental analysis of Triassic strata form the Central North Sea. PhD Thesis (unpublished), University of Aberdeen.
Gray, Ewan. 2020 Sedimentology, facies analysis and paleogeographic reconstruction of Triassic strata, Central North Sea. PhD Thesis (unpublished), University of Aberdeen.
Greig, Iain. 2021. Heavy Mineral Stratigraphy and Provenance of Triassic Sediments of the Central North Sea and Moray Firth. PhD Thesis (unpublished), University of Aberdeen.
Current PhD students
Lorenzo Di Lauro – Triassic Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Basin Development in the Ula Field Area, Norway
Chris Card – Correlation, Provenance and Reservoir Quality of Triassic Strata in the Central North Sea
Alexandra Tatayo Muzo – Triassic Sedimentology and Structure in the Central Graben, Norway
Alex Boorman – Heavy Mineral Stratigraphy and Provenance of Triassic Sediments in the Norwegian North Sea
Riccardo Sordi – Triassic Sedimentology and Structure in the Utsira High area, offshore Norway
Spiros Saltapidas – Triassic Sedimentology and Structure in the Tampen Spur area, offshore Norway
Shaan Heydenrych – Biostratigraphy and Palynology of Triassic Sediments in the Norwegian North Sea