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Aberdeen University Stories

Unearthing oil and gas potential within volcanic landscapes


Nick Schofield is a Reader/Assoc. Prof. in Igneous and Petroleum Geology. He specializes in the seismic and field interpretation of intrusive and extrusive sequences in volcanic terranes and their interaction with hydrocarbon systems.

He has been at the forefront of allowing the industry to understand the challenging volcanic geology in the subsurface around the UKCS, Atlantic Margin, East Africa and Australasia 


Research Interests

  • Seismic Interpretation of Volcanics
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Evolution of Sedimentary Basins affected by Volcanism
  • Sill Complexes
  • Intra-Basaltic hydrocarbon plays
  • Lava field stratigraphy
  • North Atlantic Igneous Province
  • South Australian Volcanism
  • Salt-Igneous interaction


Current Research

Further Info


2015 - DG Roberts/Peter Ziegler Award (Petroleum Geology Confrence)

2014 - 2015  - Clough Award

2013 - Young Author of the Year Award – Geological Society London

2012 - Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Best Paper Award



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  • Walker, F, Schofield, N, Millett, J, Jolley, D, Holford, SP, Planke, S, Jerram, DA & Myklebust, R 2020, 'Inside the volcano: 3D magmatic architecture of a buried shield volcano ', Geology.
  • Schofield, N, Newton, R, Thackrey, S, Watson, D, Jolley, D & Morley, C 2020, 'Linking surface and subsurface volcanic stratigraphy in the Turkana Depression of the East African Rift System', Journal of the Geological Society .
  • Schofield, N, Holford, S, Edwards, A, Mark, N & Pugliese, S 2020, 'Overpressure transmission through interconnected igneous intrusions', AAPG Bulletin, vol. 104, no. 2, pp. 285-303. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1306/05091918193
  • Quirie, AK, Schofield, N, Jolley, DW, Archer, SG, Hole, MJ, Hartley, A, Watson, D, Burgess, R, Pugsley, JH, Underhill, JR & Holford, SP 2020, 'Palaeogeographical evolution of the Rattray Volcanic Province, Central North Sea', Journal of the Geological Society , vol. 177, no. 4, pp. 718-737. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2019-182
  • Walker, F, Schofield, N, Millett, J, Jolley, D, Hole, M & Stewart, M 2020, 'Paleogene volcanic rocks in the northern Faroe–Shetland Basin and Møre Marginal High: understanding lava field stratigraphy', Geological Society Special Publications , vol. 495. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1144/SP495-2019-13
  • Watson, DA, Schofield, N, Maguire, A, Telford, C, Mark, N, Archer, S & Hardman, J 2020, 'Raiders of the Lost Mud: The geology behind drilling incidents within the Balder Formation around the Corona Ridge, West of Shetland', Petroleum Geoscience, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 110-125. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1144/petgeo2018-060
  • Mark, N, Holford, S, Schofield, N, Eide, CH, Pugliese, S, Watson, D & Muirhead, D 2020, 'Structural and lithological controls on the architecture of igneous intrusions: examples from the NW Australian Shelf', Petroleum Geoscience, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 50-69. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1144/petgeo2018-067
  • Broadley, L, Schofield, N, Jolley, D, Howell, J & Underhill, JR 2020, 'UK Rockall prospectivity: re-awakening exploration in a frontier basin', Petroleum Geoscience, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 247-271. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1144/petgeo2019-098
  • Hardman, J, Schofield, N, Jolley, D, Hartley, A, Holford, S & Watson, D 2019, 'Controls on the Distribution of Volcanism and Intra-Basaltic Sediments in the Cambo-Rosebank Region, West of Shetland', Petroleum Geoscience, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 71-89. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1144/petgeo2017-061
  • Watson, D, Holford, S, Schofield, N & Mark, N 2019, 'Failure to predict igneous rocks encountered during exploration of sedimentary basins: a case study of the Bass Basin, Southeastern Australia', Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 99, pp. 526-547. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.10.034
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