An integrated study of the Hatton Basin: its role in regional North Atlantic petroleum systems


PhD Candidate: Laura Bérdi

Supervisor: Dr Brian M. O’Reilly, Prof. Patrick Shannon & Prof. Peter Haughton

Funded by: Science Foundation Ireland and the Petroleum Infrastructure Programme through iCRAG



The Hatton Basin is located western offshore Ireland, east of the heavily intruded Hatton Continental Margin and the Icelandic Basin and west of the highly stretched crust of the Rockall and Porcupine Basins. The basin itself is lightly studied, little is known about its geology and economic resource potential. The relationship of the basin to the conjugate Greenland and Canadian margin, its role in regional paleogeography and sedimentary depositional systems has not been deeply studied.  This has implications for the potential petroleum systems in the basin and in the surrounding areas, on the timing of clastic sediment routes and on the thermal and tectonic evolution of the region.

This project focuses on constraining the tectonic and thermal evolution of the Hatton Basin to understand its role in the formation of the North Atlantic passive margins. The datasets used for this study will include crustal-scale tomographic models developed by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and other research institutes as well as long streamer seismic reflection profiles, potential field data and additional geological information including limited well and borehole data. These data will be integrated to better understand the large-scale sedimentary architecture and crustal structure of the Hatton Basin and its environs by means of seismic stratigraphic interpretation, basin analysis and gravity/magnetic field modelling. The results are expected to provide new insights into deep crustal and lithospheric processes that impact on the regional distribution of sediment sources and transport pathways in the North Atlantic region. Furthermore, the existence of the elements of a potential petroleum system will be investigated to assess the hydrocarbon prospectivity of the area.