Staff and Postgraduate Students
Dr Peter Holt
PhD Title - Subsidence mechanisms of Accretionary crust: examples from North Africa and Arabia
During the Palaeozoic large areas of North Africa and Arabia subsided with no apparent driving force. This resulted in blanket sedimentation during the Cambro-Ordovician across the North of the African plate and the most of the Arabian plate. This was then split up into basins by rising paleohighs in the Silurian forming individual basins such as the Ghadames, Murzuk, Al Kufra and Ahnet Basins, which continued subsiding until the end of the Carboniferous and the Caledonian Orogeny uplifted the basins.
The aim of this PhD is to investigate the subsidence mechanism driving the basin formation. Using finite element modelling the hypothesis that the basins are caused by thermal cooling of a hot thin lithosphere underlying a normal thickness crust is being tested. This is compared to tectonic subsidence curves produced by backstripping the sediments within the basins.
This will give a greater understanding into what causes subsidence and basin formation in accretionary crust, but possibly also within intracratonic settings. This work should allow the tectonic and therefore the thermal history within these basins to be better predicted and modelled as well.
The work is sponsored by StatoilHydro and is part of the CeREE’s scholarship program.
Peter Holt grew up in Nepal and later moved to Scotland where he was educated at The Berwickshire High School.
2004-2007 BSc Geophysics with Geology, Durham University
• Large scale tectonic processes, particularly basin formation.
• Use of models within Geosciences.
• North African Geology