Professor Zoe Shipton

Head Of Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Personal statement

My research is concerned with the structural and permeability architecture of faults. Understanding 3D fault structure is key to answering many questions concerning the evolution of fault zone structures and the migration of fluids through the Earth's crust. My research focuses on four main areas

1) How do faults act as high permeability conduits? Will this type of fault allow potentially undesirable fluids, for example contaminated water or CO2, to escape from geological storage sites? Many “leaky” CO2 reservoirs are controlled by faults, and faults are responsible for controlling the formation of some ore bodies [PhD students: Megan Heather-Cooley, Nilay Gulyuz, Stewart Beattie, Ali McCay (2014), Neil Burnside (2010), Heather Moir (2010), Ben Dockrill (2006), Jonny Willson (2006). Post-docs: Yannick Kremer, Stuart Gilfillan, Jamie Kirkpatrick, Aisling Soden, Jen Roberts]

2) Low permeability faults often produce hydrocarbon traps or barriers to fluid flow.What controls the distribution of structural elements in the faults, and how does each structural element contribute to overall fault zone permeability? Is there any scaling of fault elements that would allow us to predict fault zone properties in the subsurface? [PhD students: Silvia Sosio de Rosa, Yannick Kremer (2014), Rachael Ellen (2013), Aisling Soden (2008), Aileen Bright (2006)]

3) Earthquakes are the tangible evidence of relative movements across fault zones.The processes of earthquake rupture propagation are critically dependent on fault structure and geometry. These processes can also potentially be controlled by changing fluid pressure on fault surfaces. Can we understand these processes by looking at faults exhumed from the depths where earthquakes are known to have nucleated? [PhD students: Brigitte Vogt, Jamie Kirkpatrick (2008), Susan Lawther (2011)]

4) How can we constrain uncertainty in geological models? Measurements of petrophysical fault properties can be incorporated into models of bulk fault properties, but how can we optimise data collection to capture variability? How much does our previous experience influence the way we interpret data? [PhD student Euan Macrae (2013), Post-docs: Clare Bond, Jen Roberts].

Each of these problems can be addressed by detailed characterization of fault zone structures and their permeability and physical properties. My research has a strong multidisciplinary approach and includes collaborations with geologists, civil and environmental engineers and statisticians.

 

Publications

Geological and mineralization characteristics of the Kestanelik epithermal Au-Ag deposit in the Tethyan Metallogenic Belt, NW Turkey
Gülyüz Nilay, Gülyüz Erhan, Shipton Zoe K, Kuşcu İlkay, Lord Richard A
Geosciences Journal (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12303-019-0030-y
Automated high accuracy, rapid beam hardening correction in X-Ray Computed Tomography of multi-mineral, heterogeneous core samples
Romano Carla, Minto James M, Shipton Zoe K, Lunn Rebecca J
Computers & Geosciences Vol 131, pp. 144-157 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cageo.2019.06.009
Fault Fictions : cognitive biases in the conceptualization of fault zones
Shipton Z K, Roberts J J, Comrie E L, Kremer Y, Lunn R J, Caine J S
Geological Society Special Publications (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1144/SP496-2018-161
Fault seal behaviour in Permian Rotliegend reservoir sequences : case studies from the Dutch Southern North Sea
van Ojik K, Silvius A, Kremer Y, Shipton Z K
Geological Society Special Publications (2019)
Detailed internal structure and along-strike variability of the core of a plate boundary fault : the Highland boundary fault, Scotland
McKay Lucy, Shipton Zoe K, Lunn Rebecca J, Andrews Billy, Raub Timothy D, Boyce Adrian J
Journal of the Geological Society (2019)
Structural controls on the location and distribution of CO2 emission at a natural CO2 spring in Daylesford, Australia
Roberts Jennifer J, Leplastrier Aero, Feitz Andrew J, Shipton Zoe K, Bell Andrew F, Karolyte Rūta
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control Vol 84, pp. 36-46 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2019.03.003

more publications

Professional activities

Communicating Geoscience: Building Public Interest and Promoting Inclusive Dialogue
Participant
4/9/2018
Strathclyde-Sapienza workshop: knowledge exchange on gas monitoring and studying fluid flow in faults
Organiser
23/7/2018
Faculty Robotics and Automation Users Group Discussion
Participant
10/10/2017
Janet Watson conference: The Future of Hydrocarbon Exploration
Keynote/plenary speaker
28/4/2016
Geomechanical and Petrophysical Properties of Mudrocks
Organiser
10/2015
Shawlands Primary School
Visiting lecturer
3/2015

more professional activities

Projects

Prosperity Partnership Call 2 Strategic Students-Weir Group and University of Strathclyde
Shipton, Zoe (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2023
STEM Equals (EPSRC Inclusion Matters)
MacGregor, Scott (Principal Investigator) Carter, Sara (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator) Renshaw, Joanna (Co-investigator) Rivers, Ian (Co-investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2021
Smart pumping for Subsurface Engineering (Prosperity Partnership)
Shipton, Zoe (Principal Investigator) Corney, Jonathan (Co-investigator) Dempster, William (Co-investigator) Perry, Marcus (Co-investigator) Pytharouli, Stella (Co-investigator) Stankovic, Lina (Co-investigator) Stankovic, Vladimir (Co-investigator) Yang, Shangtong (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2023
OGIC Getech
Shipton, Zoe (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2018
What happens to groundwater chemistry during fault slip: implications for rock friction (£1.2K)
Stillings, Mark (Principal Investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Lord, Richard (Co-investigator)
Mimicking the pressure changes in groundwater during earthquakes. Changes in groundwater pressure can trigger precipitation and dissolution of minerals, changing water chemistry and fracture surfaces. This in turn can lead to changes in rock friction, potentially increasing the magnitude of future earthquakes.
31-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2019
Groundwater geochemistry changes during unloading due to reservoir drainage: Main study (£25K)
Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator) Stillings, Mark (Post Grad Student) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator) Boyce, Adrian J. (Co-investigator)
Use of NERC Isotope Community Support Facility Application IP-1762-1117 (£25K)
01-Jan-2018

more projects

Address

Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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