Modern landscapes and climate change

Landscape evolution 

This research theme covers examination of the sedimentology and geomorphology of late Cenozoic alluvial fans, bedrock river systems, fluvial terrace sequences and late Quaternary shore platforms and marine terraces. Research in these areas typically involves the analysis of key controlling mechanisms (tectonics, climate, eustacy) and quantifying rates of landscape change using a range of radiometric dating techniques, in order to determine timings and rates of landscape change.

Modern environments

Our skills and experience in earth sciences are used to address scientific questions concerning modern environments, especially estuaries, shallow shelf seas and the open ocean. Additionally our research on modern environments helps to frame our interpretations of the past. Our research work into modern environments includes morphology, molecular taxonomy and global distribution of heteropods and pteropod and foraminiferal trends in relation to oceanographic change and ocean acidification. Our interests also encompass the preservation of isotopic signals in marine organisms, the geochemical analysis of salt-marsh sediments, oysters as biomonitors of pollution and an assessment of the biological response of foraminifera to pollution.

Engineering geology and landslide risk assessment

Engineering geology is a major field of industrial employment for geologists. To maintain a competitive edge these industries must remain at the forefront of applied geoscience research. Our research focus lies in two areas, firstly, in understanding the effects of contemporary physical processes in the evaluation of construction and environmental risk. Secondly, we advance the application of geophysical investigative and monitoring techniques in subsurface site characterisation and ground model development. In particular, the development of long-term geophysical monitoring techniques to improve our understanding of landslide activation processes. Our staff have a wealth of professional and industrial experience that allows the requirements of industry to both guide and support the areas of research.