NEAM A3 coverSome figures from this report are included as free downloads on this page.

Click on the arrows below for an outline and contents of the study.

Please contact Dr Jonathan Bujak for further details.



The study was undertaken jointly by Bujak Research and David Mudge Associates on the Lower Tertiary stratigraphy and hydrocarbon plays of the Northeast Atlantic margin, comprising the North Sea, Faroe-Shetland Basin, Rockall Trough and Porcupine Basin. More than 100 wells were examined from the region to provide an integrated biostratigraphic and sequence stratigraphic scheme which was defined in a series of papers by Jonathan Bujak and David Mudge:

BUJAK, J.P. & MUDGE, D.C. 1994. A high-resolution North Sea Palaeocene – Eocene dinocyst zonation. Journal of the Geological Society of London, vol. 151, pp. 449-462.

MUDGE, D.C. & BUJAK, J.P. 1994. Eocene stratigraphy of the North Sea Basin. Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 166-181.

MUDGE, D.C. & BUJAK, J.P. 1996. An integrated stratigraphy for the Paleocene and Eocene of the North Sea. In: Correlation of the Early Paleogene in Northwest Europe (Eds Knox, R.W.O’B. et al.), Geological Society Special Publication No. 101.

MUDGE, D.C. & BUJAK, J.P. 1996. Palaeocene biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy of the UK central North Sea. Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 13, pp. 195-312.

MUDGE, D.C. & BUJAK, J.P. 1996. An integrated stratigraphy for the Paleocene and Eocene of the North Sea. In: Correlation of the Early Paleogene in Northwest Europe (Eds R.W.O’B. Knox, R.M. Corfield & R.E. Dunay), Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. No.101, pp. 91-113.

MUDGE, D.C. & BUJAK, J.P. 2001. Biostratigraphic evidence for evolving palaeoenvironments in the Lower Paleogene of the Faeroe-Shetland Basin. Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 18, pp. 577-590.



The report provides extensive documentation of the tectonic, oceanographic, depositional, biotic and climatic development of the northeast Atlantic region, which was strongly affected by the Greenland mantle plume. Late Palaeocene uplift of the dome isolated the ‘North Sea Basin System’ from the ‘North Atlantic System’, and subsequent collapse of the mantle plume resulted in the ‘London Clay Transgression’, which is documented as a circum North Atlantic ‘Near Base Eocene Transgressive Event’ in the report.

The regional biotas were also controlled by increased temperatures due to the emission of carbon dioxide greenhouse gases by volcanic activity across a huge area centered on Greenland. This triggered the release of methane clathrates (aka gas hydrates) from sediments, resulting in the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), also known as the Early Eocene Thermal Maximum (EETM), which strongly affected biotas across the region.

Following the late Early Eocene (Ypresian) Arctic Azolla Event, global climate moved from greenhouse towards icehouse in a series of cooling steps that are reflected by biotic changes across the circum North Atlantic. The North Sea Basin System had a cooler surface-water (SST) regime than the North Atlantic System during the Eocene, so that the stratigraphic ranges of temperature-sensitive species differ in the two areas.

The North Sea Basin System also had more restricted foraminiferal biotas than those of the North Atlantic System due to basin configuration. These differences, and their effect on the biostratigraphy across the entire North Atlantic region, is fully documented and extensively illustrated in the report.

Despite these localized differences, uplift and collapse of the Greenland Mantle Plume, and subsequent Eocene tectonic events resulted in a succession of coeval Palaeocene-Eocene sequence stratigraphic surfaces that can be traced across the Northeast Atlantic region, as well as the Northwest Atlantic region documented in our NWAM study.

The four volume large-format NEAM report includes a comprehensive database of sequence and biostratigraphic picks, and is extensively illustrated by detailed figures and illustrations of well sections.



  1. Introduction

1.1          Area of study

1.2          Objectives

1.3          Database and methodology

1.4          North Atlantic stratigraphic framework

  1. North Atlantic regional framework

2.1          Chronostratigraphy

2.2          Plate tectonic setting

2.3          Palaeoceanography

2.4          Tectonic and magmatic stratigraphy

2.5          Palaeoclimate

2.6          Biotic development of the North Sea and North Atlantic systems

  1. North Sea stratigraphic framework

3.1          Introduction

3.2          Biostratigraphy

3.3          Correlation with onshore sections

3.4          Correlation of North Sea biostratigraphic schemes

3.5          Stratigraphic surfaces

3.6          Biostratigraphic intervals

3.7          Stratigraphic sequences

3.8          Lithostratigraphy

  1. Faeroe-Shetland Basin stratigraphic framework

4.1          Introduction

4.2          Biostratigraphy

4.3          Sequence stratigraphy

4.4          Lithostratigraphy

  1. Rockall stratigraphic framework

Palaeocene-Eocene stratigraphy

5.1       Rockall Palaeocene-Lower Eocene stratigraphy

5.2       Rockall Palaeocene well correlation

5.3       Rockall Eocene well correlation


5.4       Eocene biostratigraphy, Rockall and Faeroe-Shetlands

5.5       Rockall Palaeocene-Eocene biostratigraphic scheme


  1. Porcupine Basin stratigraphic framework

6.1          Introduction

6.2          Lithostratigraphy

6.3          Biostratigraphy

6.4          Stratigraphic surfaces

6.5          Stratigraphic sequences

  1. Northeast Atlantic margin regional geology

7.1          Faeroe Shetland Basin

7.2          Rockall

7.3          Porcupine Basin

  1. Faeroe-Shetland Basin hydrocarbon plays

8.1          Introduction

8.2          Sullom play

8.3          Vaila play

8.4          Lamba play

8.5          Flett play

8.6          Lower Eocene and Middle Eocene plays

  1. Rockall hydrocarbon plays

9.1          Northeast Rockall Basin

9.2          Rockall Trough

  1. Porcupine Basin hydrocarbon plays

10.1        Introduction

10.2        Middle Palaeocene play

10.3        Upper Palaeocene/Lower Eocene plays

10.4        Lower Eocene play

10.5        Middle Eocene play




  1. Introduction

1.1       NE Atlantic margin location and water depths

1.2       Faeroe-Shetland bathymetry and wells

1.3       Rockall bathymetry and well locations

1.4       West of Ireland bathymetry and well locations

1.5       Stratigraphic framework, Northeast Atlantic margin

  1. North Atlantic regional framework


2.1       Northeast Atlantic margin and North Sea biostratigraphy

Plate tectonic setting

2.2       Late Cretaceous plate tectonic setting

2.3       Early Palaeocene plate tectonic setting

2.4       Late Palaeocene plate tectonic setting

2.5       Early Eocene plate tectonic setting

2.6       Late Eocene plate tectonic setting

2.7       Mid Oligocene plate tectonic setting

2.8       Present day plate tectonic setting


2.9       Late Cretaceous palaeoceanography

2.10     Early Palaeocene palaeoceanography

2.11     Late Palaeocene palaeoceanography

2.12     Early Eocene palaeoceanography

2.13     Late Eocene palaeoceanography

2.14     Mid Oligocene palaeoceanography

2.15     Present day palaeoceanography

2.16     Late Palaeocene migration routes and land bridges

2.17     Early Oligocene connection to the Arctic

Tectonism and magmatism

2.18     Northeast Atlantic margin tectonic uplift and erosion

2.19     Northeast Atlantic margin igneous underplating

2.20     Calibration of volcanic events with N Atlantic stratigraphy

2.21     North Atlantic thermal and magmatic event stratigraphy


2.22     Phanerozoic palaeogeography, palaeotemperature and glaciations

2.23     Late Ordovician palaeogeography

2.24     Late Carboniferous palaeogeography

2.25     Late Jurassic palaeogeography

2.26     Present palaeogeography

2.27     Cenozoic global circulation and palaeotemperature

2.28     Development of the circum-Antarctic current

2.29     Eocene-Oligocene oceanographic changes

2.30     Eocene-Oligocene vegetation and palaeotemperature

2.31     Cenozoic isotope record and glaciations

2.32     Modern polar circulation

2.33     Lower Tertiary isotope record and North Atlantic climatic events

2.34     Log record of Palaeocene warming events and Eocene cooling steps

            Biotic development of the North Sea and North Atlantic systems

2.35     Major microfossil groups

2.36     Northeast Atlantic palaeogeography

2.37     Changes in oceanic chemistry

2.38     Palaeocene warming and migration events

2.39     North Sea-Faeroe Shetland Basin biotic crisis

2.40     Thanetian stratigraphy, type Thanet and 206/1-1A sections

2.41     Eocene cooling and extinction events

2.42     Biotic development of the North Atlantic and North Sea-Faeroe Shetland basins

2.43     Synthesis of North Atlantic events

  1. North Sea stratigraphic framework

3.1       North Sea Palaeocene-Eocene stratigraphy


3.2       Range chart of zonal dinocyst markers

3.3       North Sea Palaeocene-Eocene biostratigraphy

            Correlation with onshore sections

3.4       Location of onshore sections

3.5       Correlation with onshore UK

3.6       Correlation with onshore France

3.7       Correlation with onshore Belgium

3.8       Correlation with onshore northwest Germany

3.9       Correlation with onshore Denmark

3.10     Dinocyst correlation of the North Sea and onshore northwest European sections

            Correlation of North Sea biostratigraphic schemes

3.11     Synthesis correlation

            Sequence stratigraphic analysis

3.12     Palaeocene North Sea stratigraphic sequences

3.13     Palaeocene North Sea tectonostratigraphic surfaces

3.14     Palaeocene North Sea biostratigraphic intervals

3.15     Eocene North Sea stratigraphic sequences and surfaces

  1. Faeroe-Shetland Basin stratigraphic framework

4.1       Faeroe-Shetland Basin well location map

4.2       Faeroe-Shetland Basin Palaeocene-Lower Eocene stratigraphy

4.3       Faeroe-Shetland Basin Palaeocene-Eocene stratigraphy


4.4       Faeroe-Shetland Basin biofacies variations

4.5       Synthesis of Faeroe-Shetland Basin biostratigraphic schemes

4.6       Biostratigraphic characterisation of Near Top Danian and Mid Palaeocene events

4.7       Biostratigraphic characterisation of Near Top Palaeocene and Basal Eocene transgression events

            Palaeocene-Eocene stratigraphy

4.8       Palaeocene-Lower Eocene stratigraphic sequences and surfaces

4.9       Eocene stratigraphic sequences and surfaces

4.10     Association of sandstones with uplift surfaces

4.11     Definition of Palaeocene-Lower Eocene biostratigraphic intervals

4.12     Well correlation: Quadrants 205, 206 and 208

4.13     Well correlation: Quadrants 204 and 205

4.14     Eocene well correlation Faeroe-Shetland Basin

            Stratigraphy of the Faeroe volcanic province

4.15     Stratigraphy of the Faeroe Basalt Series

4.16     Palaeocene seismic stratigraphy

4.17     Stratigraphic position of the Faeroe “A” Horizon

4.18     Palaeocene stratigraphy of the Kangerlussuaq basin, East Greenland

4.19     Stratigraphy of the East Greenland-Faeroes region

  1. Rockall stratigraphic framework


5.1       Eocene biostratigraphy, Rockall and Faeroe-Shetlands

5.2       Rockall Palaeocene-Eocene biostratigraphic scheme

            Palaeocene-Eocene stratigraphy

5.3       Rockall Palaeocene-Lower Eocene stratigraphy

5.4       Rockall Palaeocene well correlation

5.5       Rockall Eocene well correlation

  1. Porcupine Basin stratigraphic framework

            Sequence stratigraphy

6.1       Porcupine well location map

6.2       Porcupine Palaeocene-Eocene stratigraphy

6.3       Well correlation: Quadrants 26 and 35

6.4       Well correlation: Quadrants 34, 35 and 43


6.5       Palaeocene-Eocene planktonic foraminiferal ranges

6.6       Nummulites ranges, Porcupine and Hampshire basins

6.7       Porcupine Basin biostratigraphic scheme

  1. Northeast Atlantic margin regional geology

Faeroe-Shetland Basin

7.1       Faeroe-Shetlands regional geology

7.2       Faeroe-Shetlands tectonic elements

7.3       Faeroe-Shetlands Palaeocene-Lower Eocene thickness

7.4       Faeroe-Shetlands Tertiary igneous rocks

7.5       Ekofisk (lower Sullom) sequence thickness

7.6       Maureen I (upper Sullom) sequence thickness

7.7       Maureen II/Lista I (Vaila) sequence thickness

7.8       Lista II-III (Lamba) sequence thickness

7.9       Forties-Balder (Moray Group) sequence thickness


7.10     Rockall regional geology

7.11     West of Ireland regional geology

7.12     Northeast Rockall Basin tectonic elements

Porcupine Basin

7.13     Porcupine Basin Palaeocene-Eocene thickness

7.14     Porcupine Basin pre-Tertiary structural elements

  1. Faeroe-Shetland hydrocarbon plays

8.1       Faeroe-Shetland hydrocarbon plays

8.2       East Greenland-Faeroe-Shetlands region

palaeogeographic reconstructions

8.3       Sullom play net sand thickness

8.4       Sullom play palaeogeography

8.5       Vaila play net sand thickness

8.6       Vaila palaeogeography

8.7       Upper Vaila mudstone topseal thickness

8.8       Lamba play net sand thickness

8.9       Lamba play palaeogeography

8.10     Upper Lamba mudstone topseal thickness

8.11     Flett and Balder net sand thickness

8.12     Lower Flett palaeogeography

8.13     Upper Flett palaeogeography

8.14     Balder palaeogeography

8.15     Lower Eocene palaeogeography

8.16     Middle Eocene palaeogeography

  1. Rockall hydrocarbon plays

9.1       Rockall hydrocarbon plays

9.2       Northeast Rockall Basin Danian-Selandian palaeogeography

9.3       Northeast Rockall Basin Thanetian palaeogeography

9.4       Northeast Rockall Basin Thanetian-Ypresian palaeogeography

  1. Porcupine Basin hydrocarbon plays

10.1     Porcupine Basin hydrocarbon plays

10.2     Middle Palaeocene sand distribution

10.3     Middle Palaeocene palaeogeography

10.4     Upper Palaeocene-Lower Eocene sand distribution

10.5     Upper Palaeocene-Lower Eocene palaeogeography

10.6     Lower Eocene sand distribution

10.7     Lower Eocene palaeogeography

10.8     Middle Eocene sand distribution

10.9     Middle Eocene play palaeogeography







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