Discovering the Secrets Beneath Britain

Getting older may at least offer one or two benefits. For me, being semi-retired yet retaining a flexible part-time foothold within Merlin, I now have a little more time available. In my ‘spare’ time I have been lucky enough to become associated with the UKOGL (UK Onshore Geophysical Library) Academic Hub ‘Beneath Britain’ based at Oxford University. As you may know, this group consists of both academic and petroleum geologists and geophysicists. They are to be provided with seismic data acquired onshore UK with the intention of using these data to produce an improved understanding of the subsurface structure beneath Britain. As an initial contribution, I have undertaken four seismic/gravity/magnetic profiles.

The profile shown below is one example and runs from South to North, starting in the English Channel, passing through Wytch Farm, and finishing near Stratford-upon Avon. It is based upon the composite seismic line interpreted by Butler and Jamieson (2013). The resultant model shows northward-verging Variscan thrusts stacked against the southern side of a weakly magnetic London-Brabant Massif.

Hopefully this profile may go a little way to answering some questions, but I am sure not all of them! Watch this space for more updates in the future. With Merlin’s support, I hope to retain an interest in both paid and unpaid geophysics for a few more years yet!

by John Donato, Principal Geophysicist