Geology and Geophysics pages

Geology and Geophysics Group

Research Projects

Staff in the GG Group are involved in a wide range of research projects, supported by a variety of funding bodies. To find out more about the projects we are involved in, please use the links below:

NERC Research


Oceans 2025 Theme 5: Continental Margins and the Deep Ocean
Current topics include large-scale landsliding around the Canary Islands, the dynamics of submarine canyon systems, fluid flow in the deep sea and submarine geohazards.

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Sumatran Earthquake Segment Boundaries Consortium
This project, supported by £2M from NERC, examines the structure and properties of barriers to earthquake rupture offshore Sumatra, Indonesia - the location of the devastating 2004 and 2005 earthquakes and tsunamis. The 5-year project (2006-2011) is led by Tim Henstock, and involves partners from 4 other UK institutions, plus a number of international partners.

IPY logo

Dynamics of gas hydrates in polar environments
This project, funded by NERC and carried out as part of the International Polar Year programme, aims to determine how much gas hydrate is present in marine sediments in the Arctic today and how it might be affected by changes in climate in the future.

IPY logo

Exploring chemosynthetic ecosystems in the Antarctic
Investigation and analysis of the regional tectonic setting, hydrothermal and cold seep environments of four contrasting types of chemosynthetically-driven communities: those associated with rock-hosted hydrothermal vents (East Scotia Ridge), sediment-hosted hydrothermal activity (Bransfield Strait), mud volcanoes (South Sandwich fore-arc basin) and methane hydrates (north of King George Island).

IPY logo

Hydrothermal activity and deep-ocean biology of the Mid-Cayman Rise
A multidisciplinary research programme using cutting-edge marine technology to test hypotheses relating to hydrothermal emissions and deep-ocean biology on the world's deepest undersea volcanic ridge, the Mid-Cayman Rise (MCR) in the Caribbean Sea.

European Research

Geo-Seas logo

Funded under the ECís FP7 and running for 3.5 years (2009-2012). Geo-Seas is implementing an e-infrastructure of 26 marine geological and geophysical data centres, located in 17 European maritime countries. Users will be able to identify, locate and access pan-European, harmonised and federated marine geological and geophysical datasets and derived data products held by the data centres through a single common data portal.


HERMES: Hotspot Ecosystems Research on the Margins of European Seas
Funded under the EC's FP6 programme and co-ordinated by Phil Weaver, HERMES involves 45 partners across Europe. Running for 4 years (2005-2009), HERMES is one of the largest multidisciplinary marine science projects in Europe. HERMES research within the GG group focuses on canyon systems and fluid flow through the seafloor.

Black Smoker

MOMARnet: MOnitoring deep sea floor hydrothermal environments on the Mid Atlantic Ridge
The MOMARnet Marie Curie Research Training Network aims at strengthening the European approach to deep seafloor observatory science and technology by training a multidiciplinary group of young researchers. The project has particular focus on seafloor hydrothermal systems at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The GG Group is host to one PhD student and one postdoctoral researcher under the MOMARnet programme.

Industry partnerships and applied research

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UK-TAPS: UK Turbidite Architecture and Process Studies
UK-TAPS group contains researchers from three UK institutions and specialises in the study of deep-water clastic sedimentology, specifically gravity and bottom current flow processes and deposits. UK-TAPS research projects are funded by industry partners and NERC.

UK Continental Shelf Strategic Environmental Assessment
Funded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry and carried out in partnership with other research institutions and private companies over a number of years, with the NOC element mostly focused in the deeper waters of the UK continental shelf.

Black Sea research
Funded by NERC and BP

The HyPoMap project
A joint venture between University of Southampton, Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping plc (OHM) and BP investigating new applications of controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) imaging

Project Archive

G&G staff have been involved in the following projects, which have now officially finished but still have relevance for our current research:


EURODOM: European Deep Ocean Margins
The EURODOM Marie Curie Research Training Network provides support for training young researchers in the investigation of the continental slope and the deep-water hydrocarbon provinces on Europe's margins. The GG Group has hosted 2 EURODOM researchers.


EUROSTRATAFORM: European Margin Strata Formation
Funded under FP5 and completed in October 2005, the data generated from EUROSTRATAFORM is still the focus of active research, and results are now feeding into the HERMES project. EUROSTRATAFORM involved 20 institutions across Europe, and was co-ordinated by Phil Weaver. Research within the GG group focused on sediment transport and processes in submarine canyons offshore Portugal.


SEISCANEX: Re-using seismic data
SEISCANEX was funded under the EC's FP5 programme to rescue early paper seismic reflection profiles using long large format scanning with archive to a CD-ROM database of image files. Under the leadership of GG's Peter Miles, the project has now finished but the image database is still active and can be accessed through the project website.

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ISO-3D: Applications of 3-Dimensional Electromagnetic Induction by Sources in the Ocean
An EC MASTIII project.


HYDRATECH: Techniques for the Quantification of Methane Hydrate in European Continental Margins
An EC Framework 5 project.

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COSTA: Continental Slope Stability
An EC Framework 5 project.


LITHOS: Advanced Lithological Imaging Project
An industry-university partnership.