Christopher Jackson: 3D Seismic Reflection Data: Has the Geological Hubble Retained Its Focus?


In their seminal paper in 2002, Joe Cartwright and Mads Huuse referred to 3D seismic reflection data as the ‘Geological Hubble’, arguing these data had the potential to revolutionise our understanding of the genesis and evolution of sedimentary basins. Almost two decades later, I will here outline just some of the key recent advances made in our understanding of basin structure and stratigraphy, focusing on: (i) the intrusion and extrusion of igneous rocks; (ii) salt tectonics; (iii) the geometry, growth, and seismogenic hazard posed by normal faults; and (iv) the structure and emplacement of submarine landslides. I will stress that future advances in these and other areas relies on energy companies and government agencies continuing to make their data freely available via free, easy-to-access data portals. I will issue a clarion call to academics, stressing that ‘geodynamicists’, sedimentologists, structural geologists and geomorphologists, amongst many, many others, can benefit from using what I believe are currently an underused data type. Most fundamentally, seismic reflection data should be used across the undergraduate syllabus, such that future generations of geoscientists are aware of its power and limitations.

June 24, 2020 14:00 — 15:00
SML Seminar


Professor Christopher Jackson is Equinor Professor of Basin Analysis at Imperial College, where he leads the Basins Research Group (BRG). Having completed his BSc (1998) and PhD (2002) at the University of Manchester, Chris was employed as an exploration research geologist in the Norsk Hydro (now Equinor) research centre, Bergen, Norway. Since moving to Imperial College in 2004, Chris' research has focused on using traditional fieldwork techniques and seismic reflection data to study the tectono-stratigraphic analysis of sedimentary basins. When not studying rocks and the ways in which they deform, Chris gives geoscience lectures to the general public and in schools, having appeared on several, Earth Science-focused, television productions and podcasts. Chris is actively engaged in efforts to improve equality, diversity, and inclusivity in Earth Science in particular, and Higher Education in general.
Marc Deisenroth
DeepMind Chair in Artificial Intelligence