PhD Opportunities 2020

The Basin Dynamics Research Group offers the following opportunities in PhD research for 2020.

 

The following project is available but currently unfunded:

Image used for the fold and thrust belt PhD opportunity

The structural evolution of fold and thrust belts: implications for the development of associated sedimentary basins and their hydrocarbon potential.

Keele University in collaboration with the British Geological Survey

Supervisors: Dr Stuart M. Clarke (Keele), Prof. Phil C. Richards (Keele) & Dr Graham Leslie (BGS & Keele)

Falklands Cyclic Thrusting advert

MPhil Opportunities

‘MPhil’ is a masters level qualification by research. Candidates undertake one full year of research with up to one further year allowed to ‘write-up’. Examination is by viva, and the production of one scientific journal paper is expected.

MPhil projects typically represent ‘pilot studies’ that have the potential to become PhD projects if they yield appropriate results or prove as-yet-untested concepts. At the end of the research year, MPhil candidates may choose not to submit for MPhil and instead choose to continue their studies for two further years (plus one additional write-up year) to submit for PhD, should the results of their first year of study prove the potential in both the research and the candidate for PhD level work.

By their nature, MPhil projects are a little different to research that may be undertaken as part of a taught MSc course, but many of the projects listed below may be adaptable for study as the research component of Keele's MSc in Geosicence Research. Please contact the lead supervisor for further information.

The Basin Dynamics Research Group offers the following opportunities in MPhil research for 2018/19:

Sedimentology and reservoir characterisation of a shallow-marine to continental transition for Carbon Capture and Storage purposes

Utah view Project summary:

The impacts of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on mitigating climate change appear more and more crucial everyday (Bui et al. 2018, doi.org/10.1039/C7EE02342A). It is therefore important to complement subsurface analysis of stratigraphic intervals selected for CCS project through the study of analogue sedimentary systems. This master project will offer you the chance to join a multi-disciplinary team of international researchers working on one of these CO2 reservoir analogues, which crops out in Utah, USA. You will collaborate with scientists from Utah State University, Western Colorado University, Boise State University, and Colorado School of Mines. See a full project description here

and see the advert from Oslo University here

Supervisors:

Valentin Zuchuat, Anja Sundal, Ivar Midtkandal, Alvar Braathen (University of Oslo), Stuart Clarke (Keele University, UK)

Funding: Oslo University

Start Date: Available from now

Tethys evolution in the Eastern Mediterranean region

Taurus Mountains, south-central Turkey Project summary:

The Eastern Mediterranean region is an integral part of the Alpine–Himalayan orogenic system and is traditionally subdivided into several tectonic blocks and (suture) zones. Two major oceanic realms, namely the Palaeotethys and Neotethys, influenced the late Paleozoic and Mesozoic tectonic history of the region. Although much work has been done in recent years to unravel the tectonic history of the area, the closure history of Palaeotethys, for example, the direction of subduction, and the location of the suture zone in the Eastern Mediterranean region still remain a topic of vigorous debate, among others. Detailed field studies of key areas, e.g. in Greece and Turkey, together with the application of state-of-the-art analytical methods is expected to help answering some of the questions under debate and to contribute towards a better understanding of the geological evolution of the Eastern Mediterranean region through space and time.

Supervisor:

Dr Guido Meinhold (Keele)

Funding: Unfunded

Start Date: Available from now

Heavy minerals as key elements in sedimentary provenance studies

Photomicrographs of some non-opaque heavy minerals Project summary:

Heavy minerals make up a minor fraction of the bulk-rock sediment composition. However, they carry important information about the source area characteristics from which the detrital material has been derived. Although much work has been done in recent years to better understand the source-to-sink relationship using heavy minerals, open questions remain. This project will focus in detail on some key heavy minerals using petrographic and in-situ analytical techniques to better understand the source-to-sink relationship.

Supervisor:

Dr Guido Meinhold (Keele)

Funding: Unfunded

Start Date: Available from now

Towards a better understanding of Neoproterozoic and Palaeozoic glaciations

Neoproterozoic glacial diamictite Project summary:

Earth's history has largely been influenced by glacial and interglacial periods. Ancient glacial sediments are a great natural archive to better understand the timing and duration of ice advances and the origin of the ice within a palaeogeographic context. Although much work has been done in recent years to better understand ancient glacial periods, open questions remain especially for the Neoproterozoic and Palaeozoic ice ages. This project will focus in detail on selected key areas of Neoproterozoic and Palaeozoic glacial deposits using field observations and follow-up laboratory work to better understand the timing and duration of ice advances and the origin of the ice within a palaeogeographic context.

Supervisor:

Dr Guido Meinhold (Keele)

Funding: Unfunded

Start Date: Available from now

The influence of structure on arid-continental sedimentary environments and deposition: Insights from the Cutler Group of the Paradox Basin, USA

The Cutler seediments to the left of the Comb Ridge, Utah, USA Project summary:

The lower Cutler beds and the Ceda Mesa Sandstone of the Monument Valley area of south-east Utah and northern Arizona, USA represent sedimentary deposition in arid fluvial, wet aeolian, sabkha and associated environments. The spatial and temporal distributions of these sediments are relatively well known, but the controlling allo-factors upon them are not. One potential allo-control local to this area - that is not of consequence elsewhere within the Paradox Basin where these sediments are exposed - is tectonics. This work will explore a potential link between localised extensional faults (now inverted as major monoclines) and deposition of the Cutler sediments.

Supervisors: Dr Stuart M. Clarke, Prof Phil C Richards (Keele) and Dr Graham Leslie (BGS)

Funding: Fieldwork funded (no funding is currently available for fees and stipend)

Start Date: Available from April/May 2019

The clastic to Carbonate transition in the Sorbas Basin: causes and implications for palaeogeographical setting

The Sorbas Basin, south-eastern Spain Description

The Sorbas Basin, south-eastern Spain, contains a sedimentary succession that is mixed clastic and carbonate. Early-stage fill is dominantly clastic with deposition taking place in a range of the coastal-marine to deep-water settings (Chozas Fm through to Azagador Mbr of the Turre Fm) the subsequent deposition of sediments is strongly characterized by reefal carbonates and their associated near-shore and deeper water time-equivalents (Cantera and Abad mbrs of the Turre Fm). This transition from a clastic- to carbonate-dominated basin is usually attrbuted to plate tectonic drift and the development of climatic conditions more favourable to tropical carbonate reef development. While this is not in dispute, the development of strong reef system does also imply a shut down of clastic sediment supply over the same time interval; something that thus far remains unexplored. This project will use a variety of sedimentary analysis techniques to explore the interval from Azagador to Cantera times in order to shed light on the development of the Sorbas Basin during this time.

Supervisors: Dr Hazel Beaumont (UWE), Dr Stuart M Clarke (Keele) and Dr Steve Rogers (Keele).

Funding: Fieldwork funded (no funding is currently available for fees and stipend)

Start Date: Available from April/May 2019

For further information on any of the projects listed on this page please feel free to contact the Keele supervisors listed against the project, or contact the Basin Dynamics Research Group directly.

For further information on studying at Keele please see keele.ac.uk/pgresearch/howtoapply/

Formal applications for the PhD or MPhil projects listed above are handled centrally through Keele University's central admissions system:
keele.ac.uk/researchsubjects/geologygeoscience/