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CeREES Centre for Geoenergy

Staff Profiles

Prof Neil Goulty, MA (Oxon), PhD (Cantab)

Emeritus Professor of Applied Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42341
Room number: Rm 321

Contact Prof Neil Goulty (email at


2001 – 2014 —Professor of Applied Geophysics, University of Durham

1996 – 2001— Reader in Applied Geophysics, University of Durham

1992 – 1996 — Senior Lecturer in Applied Geophysics, University of Durham

1980 – 1992 — Lecturer in Geophysics, University of Durham

1978 – 1980 — Geophysicist, National Coal Board

1977 – 1978 — Research Associate, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

1975 – 1976 — Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology

1974 – 1975 — Research Assistant, University of Cambridge

Career Research Highlights


  • Development of a beat-frequency laser strainmeter
  • Deducing the mechanics of creep events on the San Andreas Fault
  • Application of surface geophysical surveys in coalfield exploration, including the first time-lapse survey
  • Directional deconvolution of marine seismic reflection data
  • Development of cross-well seismic surveying techniques, including the first depth-migrated images from field data
  • Explaining how layer-bound polygonal networks of faults develop in fine-grained sediments
  • Method to estimate overpressure from porosity and the stress tensor in mudstones within the mechanical compaction regime
  • Deducing the emplacement mechanics of the Whin Sill complex
  • Reappraisal of overpressure generation in the Lower Kutai Basin 

Committee and Society Service

2007 – 2013 — Publications Officer, European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers

Editorial Roles

2007 – 2013 — Chairman, Editorial Board, First Break

2007 – present — Editorial Board, Petroleum Geoscience

2006 – 2009 — Editorial Board, Applied Geophysics (Chinese Geophysical Society)

Recent & Current Grants

2012 – 2015 — GeoPOP3: Pore pressure and its prediction in clastic sedimentary rocks: 

BG–BP – Chevron – CoP – Dong – e.on – eni – Petrobras – Petronas – Statoil –Total– Tullow 

GeoPOP3 Mini Banner

2006 – 2009 — Location of gypsum dissolution cavities by seismic reflection surveying: NERC 

2007 – 2010 — Hydrodynamics of the Kutai Basin: TOTAL

2008 – 2013 — Lateral Reservoir Drainage: DECC/Ikon/Maersk

Research Interests

  • Geomechanics: compaction of sediments, overpressure estimation, development of polygonal fault networks, mechanics of igneous intrusions in sedimentary basins, mining subsidence

Selected Publications

Conference Paper

  • Ramdhan, A.M. & Goulty, N.R. (2014), Overpressure in the shelfal area of the Lower Kutai Basin, Proceedings Indonesian Petroleum Association Thirty-Eighth Annual Convention & Exhibition. IPA14-G-357.

Journal Article

  • Robertson, J., Goulty, N.R. & Swarbrick, R.E. (2013). Overpressure distributions in Palaeogene reservoirs of the UK Central North Sea and implications for lateral and vertical fluid flow. Petroleum Geoscience 19(3): 223-236.
  • Ireland, M.T., Goulty, N.R. & Davies, R.J. (2011). Influence of stratigraphic setting and simple shear on layer-bound compaction faults offshore Mauritania. Journal of Structural Geology 33(4): 487-499.
  • Ramdhan, A.M. & Goulty, N.R. (2011). Overpressure and mudrock compaction in the Lower Kutai Basin, Indonesia: a radical reappraisal. AAPG Bulletin 95(10): 1725-1744.
  • Ireland, M.T., Goulty, N.R. & Davies, R.J. (2010). Influence of pore water chemistry on silica diagenesis: evidence from the interaction of diagenetic reaction zones with polygonal fault systems. Journal of the Geological Society 167(2): 273-279.
  • Goulty, N.R. & Schofield, N. (2008). Implications of simple flexure theory for the formation of saucer-shaped sills. Journal of Structural Geology 30(7): 812-817.

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