Our academic staff pursue research as part of the UCL-Birkbeck Research School of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Our team of dedicated staff and technicians also provide excellent support for our students. Our Doctoral Programme is an integral part of our research culture find out more about our PhD Students.
“Understanding the role of basin tectonics and climate change on timing the sediment flux to active tectonic basins.”
PhD project title:
Impact of basin tectonics and climate change on the timing of sediment flux to the Ainsa Basin, Middle Eocene, Spanish Pyrenees.
The stratigraphy of sedimentary basins is controlled by changes in the accommodation space and the sediment supply. Basin subsidence and tectonic uplift will have an effect on erosion, weathering patterns and relative sea-level changes. As a consequence, the nature, the amount and the path of the sediment being transported to the ocean, can be affected. Climate will also have an effect on sediment supply by affecting intensity and seasonality of precipitation and riverine run-off. Differentiating climatic and tectonic forces from stratigraphic records can therefore be challenging. Attempting to better understand the controls that tectonic and climatic variability exert in actively growing mountain belts and their associated basins is fundamentally important to any understanding of how Earth surface processes create the geological record.
The main aim of this research is to calibrate sediment flux to a tectonic active basin in order to identify temporal changes in sedimentation patterns and to improve our understanding of what controls the nature and distribution of sediments.
This PhD includes a total of 8 months of fieldwork in the Ainsa basin (Spanish Pyrenees) which involves geological mapping, facies identification and the high-resolution gamma-ray logging of suitable sections using a portable spectrometer. Seven months of laboratory work include XRF scanning and determination of TOC and stable carbon isotopes from core. In addition, magnetostratigraphy and nannofossil determination will be undertaken over ~ 3 km of stratigraphy in the Ainsa Basin.