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3D Lab


For information and inquiries, contact:

Dr Tiago Alves (3D Lab leader)
Research interests in fluid flow and tectonics of continental margins.

Ms Gwen Petigrew (3D Lab manager)

The 3D Lab is focused on developing the application of 3D seismic technology to analysis of depositional and deformational processes. Many of the research students in the 3D Lab base their research on an extensive archive of seismic data donated through collaborations with the petroleum industry and governments. Recent developments in our lab include seismic analyses of diagenesis and fluid flow on a basin scale, studies on the distribution of gas hydrates on continental margins, fluid-flow modelling through faults and structures, and the investigation of main geological controls on submarine landslides and channels. The development of new quantitative methods in seismic interpretation is a key research topic within the 3D Lab.

The 3D Lab itself comprises a state-of-the-art seismic interpretation and visualisation facility that supports research into diverse aspects of sedimentary basins, with emphasis on continental margins. The lab aims to:

  • develop new techniques for the interpretation of continental margins using 3D visualisation and interpretation software;
  • provide new insights into fault mechanics, salt tectonics, crustal deformation and depositional processes of sedimentary basins;
  • devise new software and modelling applications for pure research in Earth System Science;
  • produce research students of the highest calibre who have all the necessary skills to succeed in academia and industry.

Research and projects in the lab fall into the following themes:

  • Fluid flow in the lithosphere, with emphasis on 'conventional' hydrocarbons, gas hydrates, geothermal energy, and other energy sources.
  • Fault mechanics, salt tectonics and their relationship to subsurface fluid flow.
  • Tectonic-stratigraphy of sedimentary basins, with emphasis on rift basins evolution and on the syn-rift to post-rift transitions on continental margins.
  • Mass-wasting processes on continental margins and their end-products, in close collaboration with the IODP-Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.
  • Environmental impacts of hydrocarbon exploration and production, CO2 capture, oil spill modelling and mitigation.
  • Megablocks on continental margins and their geological significance.

The 3D Seismic Lab has developed and built up strong links with industry sponsors, most notably in the Oil and Gas Industry. We have datasets in the following locations:

  • UK
  • West Africa
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Nigeria
  • Spain
  • Egypt
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Cyprus/Eastern Mediterranean
  • Caspian Sea
  • Sakhalin
  • Japan

Sponsors and data providers include (as of 2013):

  • Repsol S.A.
  • BG Group
  • Statoil
  • Partex Oil and Gas
  • Tullow Oil
  • Petrobras
  • Sonangol
  • SSI
  • Falcon Oil
  • Acrep
  • Husky Energy
  • Falcon Oil
  • European Commission
  • Royal Society
  • The Natural Environment Research Council
  • Total
  • Schlumberger Information Solutions
  • HIS
  • Southwest Research Institute (SWRI)
  • Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)
  • CGG Veritas
  • TGS
  • Petroleum Geo-Services
  • British Geological Survey
  • Geological Society of London
  • Badley Geoscience Limited