Cenozoic sediments of the North Sea Basin (NSB) have global importance for two reasons. Firstly, they record the glacial and interglacial history of environmental change in the Northern Hemisphere. Secondly, they overlie and seal operational and planned sites for the engineered storage of carbon dioxide (CO2), to store captured greenhouse gas emissions from power plant and industrial sources in Europe. Remarkably, the 1000 metre-thick Quaternary sediments are poorly sampled, bypassed to reach hydrocarbon resources in deeper strata.

This paper describes the work of the GlaciStore consortium who presents a revised seismostratigraphic model for the Quaternary strata of the NSB and studies of the extent of interconnecting, stacked networks of tunnel valleys. The consortium have used these studies to submit a drilling proposal to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) where direct sampling will resolve the number of glacial cycles, improve understanding of groundwater layering and the implications of glacial landforms within the sequence, and quantification of geomechanical effects from fluctuating ice thicknesses (e.g. compaction, rock strength and stress profiles) on these sediments.


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