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Tectonostratigraphic evolution of the West African Passive Margin: Senegal and The Gambia

Project Description

This 4-year PhD project will include generation of regional TWT, Depth and thickness maps for key horizons and regional unconformities, tied to the available borehole data. Detailed seismic facies analysis will also be undertaken using state of the art workstation software. The aim is to improve understanding of the structural history of passive margin basins, and the controls on depositional style, location of sinks and generation of unconformities within the basins. A key aspect will be to use available data to assess timing and rate of subsidence and the resultant basin fill. This will allow integration with the ongoing provenance study onshore Senegal and regional studies being undertaken on geochronology of the hinterland uplift history.
The North Africa Research Group (NARG) is an integrated research group combining the strengths of the Universities of Manchester, Heriot Watt and Delft, funded by a large consortium of industry companies. The group is undertaking extensive projects across North Africa, and have recently embarked on a major series of integrated studies examining Mesozoic depositional systems on/offshore the NW African Atlantic seaboard, together with the conjugate margin in the USA and Nova Scotia. This is an area of active oil and gas exploration and the results from this study will have an important impact on the understanding of the petroleum systems and development of the passive margin.

We seek a highly motivated candidate with the following skills:

- 1st , high 2.1 or masters in geology / petroleum geoscience
- good background in sedimentology and stratigraphic principles, ideally having conducted similar projects at undergraduate or master level
- knowledge of clastic and carbonate depositional systems
- knowledge of seismic stratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy
- aptitude for workstation applications including subsurface interpretation and geographic information systems
- Independent worker with good organizational skills
- team working skills, with ability to integrate with other team members and industry partners
- knowledge of French is an advantage but not a pre-requisite

The Basin Studies and Petroleum Geoscience Group at Manchester has 11 academic staff and over 40 PhDs, and offers access to world-leading facilities and research expertise for stratigraphic and sedimentological studies. Training is offered through specialist seminars within the group and the opportunity to take selected masters courses from the Petroleum Geoscience MSc. The successful candidate will also have opportunities to interact with and present results to industry partners, and will typically undertake a 3-month internship with one of our sponsor companies
We have extensive facilities, as may be expected in a world leading University. We have the most extensive seismic lab in the UK, with over 80 workstations, and access to all leading software. The student will utilise Petrel, Paleoscan and other related software for mapping and interpretation.

Funding Notes

Full scholarship: 4 years funding from the North Africa Research Group, includes all fees, living allowance, access to software, conference attendance and analytical expenses.


Davison, I. 2005 Central Atlantic margin basins of North West Africa: Geology and hydrocarbon
potential (Morocco to Guinea), Journal of African Earth Sciences 43 pp. 254-275.
Luber, T.L., Bulot, L.G., Redfern, J., Nahim, M., Jeremiah, J., Simmons, M., Bodin, S., Frau, C., Bidgood, M. and Masrour, M. (2019) A revised chronostratigraphic framework for the Aptian of the Essaouira-Agadir Basin, a candidate type section for the NW African Atlantic Margin. Cretaceous Research, 93, p.292-317. 

Casson, M., Cavin, L., Jeremiah, J., Bulot, L.G. and Redfern, J. (2018) Fishing in the Central Atlantic, an earliest Cenomanian ichthyodectiform from DSDP Site 367, Cape Verde Basin. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, p.1-5. 

Charton, R., Bertotti, G., Arantegui, A. and Bulot, L. (2018) The Sidi Ifni transect across the rifted margin of Morocco (Central Atlantic): Vertical movements constrained by low-temperature thermochronology. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 141, p.22- 32.

How good is research at University of Manchester in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.13

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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