Professor Zoe Shipton

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

Do intraplate and plate boundary fault systems evolve in a similar way with repeated slip events?
McKay L, Lunn R J, Shipton Z K, Pytharouli S, Roberts J J
Earth and Planetary Science Letters Vol 559 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2021.116757
Extreme capillary heterogeneities and in situ fluid compartmentalization due to clusters of deformation bands in sandstones
Romano Carla R, Garing Charlotte, Minto James M, Benson Sally M, Shipton Zoe K, Lunn Rebecca J
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control Vol 106 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2021.103280
Microseismic events cause significant pH drops in groundwater
Stillings M, Lunn R J, Pytharouli S, Shipton Z K, Kinali M, Lord R, Thompson S
Geophysical Research Letters Vol 48 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL089885
Collapse processes in abandoned pillar and stall coal mines : implications for shallow mine geothermal energy
Andrews Billy J, Cumberpatch Zoë A, Shipton Zoe K, Lord Richard
Geothermics Vol 88 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geothermics.2020.101904
The growth of faults and fracture networks in a mechanically evolving, mechanically stratified rock mass : a case study from Spireslack Surface Coal Mine, Scotland
Andrews Billy James, Shipton Zoe Kai, Lord Richard, McKay Lucy
Solid Earth Vol 11, pp. 2119-2140 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-11-2119-2020
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 Vol 24, pp. 407-424 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12303-019-0030-y

More publications

Professional activities

Fracking Bad Language
Contributor
30/1/2020
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

More professional activities

Projects

Doctoral Training Partnership 2020-2021 University of Strathclyde | Raykova, Magdalena
Shipton, Zoe (Principal Investigator) Ward, Andrew (Principal Investigator) Corrigan, Damion (Co-investigator) White, Chris (Co-investigator) Raykova, Magdalena (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 01-Jan-2024
Organic fingerprinting of groundwater to determine surface water origins
Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2022
Prosperity Partnership Call 2 Strategic Students-Weir Group and University of Strathclyde
Shipton, Zoe (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2023
The architecture and fluid flow properties of shallow fault systems and their implications for geoenergy engineering
Roberts, Jen (Principal Investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator) Johnson, Gareth (Co-investigator) McMahon, Christopher (Researcher)
This PhD project seeks to further understanding of fluid flow in the shallow subsurface, and particularly around fault zones, with the aim to reduce risks of geological engineering such as CO2 or hydrogen storage and to inform environmental monitoring. The project involves partners at CSIRO and Geoscience Australia.
01-Jan-2019
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Winwood, Robert
Renshaw, Joanna (Principal Investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Principal Investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Pytharouli, Stella (Co-investigator) White, Chris (Co-investigator) Winwood, Robert (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2022
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

More projects

Address

Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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