YP London Section Undertakes Field Trip

Led by Richard Steele, BG Group, and Alejandro Primera, Eni UK, YPs of the SPE London Section undertook a 2-day excursion in May to Derbyshire’s carboniferous outcrop and Mam Tor’s mudstones. The aspiring petroleum engineers pieced together the deltaic depositional system’s depositional history by studying rock composition, texture, and local fossil features.

On the first day, the group ascended to Pindale Quarry to examine the massive limestone beds. Using the rock texture and fossil assemblages of brachiopods and crinoids (sea lilies), Steele explained the paleoenvironmental setting of the area. He further stressed how changes in sea level and rapid rates of sedimentation can create complex heterogeneity in carbonates. During the second day, the group visited the Mam Tor exposure, where turbidite sequences of sandstone and siltsone overlay Edale shale mudstones. Steele explained how a prograding deltaic system caused the turbidite events to overlay the weakly bedded Edale shales.

The field trip concluded with a visit to Burbage Rocks, where YPs observed the coarse-grained and cross-bedded stratigraphy of gritstone facies, formed by the interaction of the Kinderscout and Chatsworth deltas. Here, the group was able to piece together the field observations, combined with provided seismic and sonic log data, to produce an interpretive appreciation of the Peak District’s regional geology.