I graduated from Keele University in 2010 with a combined BSc in Geology & Music. I then went on to study a Master’s in geology at the University of Brighton specialising in the application of gamma ray logging to core. I spent four years working in the oil industry, performing wireline logging throughout Continental Europe, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, the Baltic and the USA. I have experience in almost every major European petroleum play, as well as in the geothermal, mining, and gas storage sectors.  I returned to Keele in 2016 eager to develop my academic knowledge and build upon skills gained within industry.

Awards & Grants
AAPG Grants in Aid Foundation, Gustavus E. Archie Memorial Grant: $2250
Keele Postgraduate Association Bursary: £216.17
The Micropalaeontological Society Student Award

The Geological Society of London (Fellow)
International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS)
Society of Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Research and scholarship


Evaporitic/Clastic interactions in arid continental environments: Implications for reservoir quality, characterisation and fluid flow.

The interactions between competing arid continental environments exert strong controls on the sediments deposited, their preservation, and lithofacies connectivity in the subsurface. They strongly influence basin-wide fluid migration, along with reservoir-scale character, petrophysical properties and production behaviour. Clastic settings, such as alluvial-fan, fluvial and aeolian environments, and their interactions, are driven principally by physical processes and larger scale allocyclic (external) controls of climatic variation and sediment supply. The preserved lithofacies can be understood in these terms. In evaporitic systems, sediment supply and ‘deposition’ (precipitation) are strongly governed by the chemistry of the system, in addition to physical factors. Consequently, where evaporitic and clastic continental environments coexist and interact, the lithofacies preserved, and their subsurface connectively, are determined by a complex and poorly-understood interplay between 1) the physical process of the clastic systems and allocyclic controls upon them, 2) the chemical variation within the evaporitic system and the allocyclic controls upon it and, importantly, 3) the controls of the clastic system upon water and sediment supply to the evaporitic environment (interactions between systems).

This work will use field examples of modern and ancient systems from the Western USA, the UK and southern Europe, to examine and interpret clastic/evaporitic interactions, their preservation potential, and subsurface connectivity of lithofacies.  The work will develop quantified facies models in both space and time that predict lithofacies distribution, net-to-gross, reservoir quality and subsurface interconnectivity in mixed clastic / evaporitic systems. These models will be applied to detailed core and subsurface data from the Permo-Triassic strata of the onshore UK to elucidate the effects of climate and sediment supply upon larger-scale facies distribution. In so doing, it will develop a cyclo-stratigraphic framework that predicts lithofacies connectivity in mixed clastic and evaporitic settings. The results of these two scales of investigation will be applied to reservoir examples from the Permian strata of the Southern North Sea (SNS) to provide further insight for reservoir management and enhanced recovery. 



Pettigrew, R., Priddy, C., Elson, A., Johnson, K, Gough, A., Clarke, S.M. & Richards, P. 2017. Sedimentary interactions in arid continental basins: Implications for basin-scale fluid flow and reservoir characterisation. Poster. AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Houston, Texas, USA.
Mitten, A., Pettigrew, R. & Clarke, S.M. 2016. The Basin Dynamics Research Group. Poster. PETEX, Petroleum Geoscience Collaboration Showcase, London, UK.
Pettigrew, R. & Clarke. S., 2016. Aeolian-Sabkha Interactions in the Cedar Mesa Sandstone, Southwestern USA. Poster. 55th British Sedimentological Research Group AGM, Cambridge, UK.


  • Pettigrew, R.P., Rogers, S.L. & Clarke, S.M., 2019. A Microfacies Analysis of Arid Continental Carbonates from the Cedar Mesa Sandstone Formation, Utah, USA. Depositional record (in press) DOI: 10.1002/dep2.99.
  • Priddy, C.L., Pringle, J.K., Clarke, S.M. & Pettigrew, R.P., 2019. Application of Photogrammetry to Generate Quantitative Geobody Data in Ephemeral Fluvial Systems. The Photogrammetric Record, VGC2018 Special Issue. DOI:10.1111/phor.12299
  • Zuchuat, V., Sleveland, A.R.N., Pettigrew, R.P., Dodd, T.J.H., Clarke, S.M., Rabbel, O., Braathen, A., & Midtkandal, I. 2019 Overprinted allocyclic processes by tidal resonance in an epicontinental basin: The Upper Jurassic Curtis Formation, east-central Utah, USA. The Depositional Record 2019;5:272–305.

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