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Department of Earth Sciences


The Stephen Mills Postgraduate Studentships

The Department of Earth Sciences, is pleased to announce two (2) MSc by Research awards intended to benefit students undertaking research in the Earth or Natural Sciences. These awards are kindly funded by a bequest from Stephen Mills an alumnus of the department. These two awards will provide for UK/EU tuition fees only (£4,260) and one of the awards is for Durham alumni only. Please do contact potential supervisors about proposed research projects. A list of the current projects can be found here. All applications must be submitted using the University's on-line application form.

(6 Mar 2018)

Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults

The risk of man-made earthquakes due to fracking is greatly reduced if high-pressure fluid injection used to crack underground rocks is 895m away from faults in the Earth’s crust, according to new research.

(28 Feb 2018) » More about Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults

Clough Medal 2017-2018

The Edinburgh Geological Society presenting Prof Robert Holdsworth with the Clough Medal before his lecture to the Society on Wednesday 21 February. This is the Society’s premier award, presented annually to a geologist whose original work has materially increased the knowledge of the geology of Scotland and/or the north of England, or who is Scottish by birth or by adoption and residence and has significantly advanced the knowledge of any aspect of geology. Bob Holdsworth has been awarded the Clough Medal for 2017-2018 in recognition of his exceptional contribution to research in structural geology and, in particular, in establishing the tectonic framework of the Moine rocks of Sutherland, together with many other notable achievements.

(26 Feb 2018)

UK fracking industry would need strict controls to minimise spill risk

Strict controls would be “a necessity” to minimise the risk of spills and leaks from any future UK shale gas industry, according to new research.

The recommendation comes from scientists who have investigated the possible risk of spills from well sites and tankers used to transport chemicals and contaminated fluids to and from fracking sites.

The research, by the ReFINE (Researching Fracking in Europe) consortium, jointly led by Durham and Newcastle universities, estimated the potential for spills from any future UK shale gas industry by examining data related to the UK’s milk and fuel transportation industries and from the oil and gas industry in parts of the USA.

(15 Feb 2018) » More about UK fracking industry would need strict controls to minimise spill risk

Dr Charlotte Adams Awarded Geological Society Aberconway Medal.

Assistant Professor Dr Charlotte Adams has been awarded the Aberconway Medal by the Geological Society. This prestigious medal is awarded for excellence in applied geoscience and reflects Charlotte's ground breaking work in ultra-low enthalpy geothermal energy. Heat can be extracted from the water flooded coal mines. The legacy of mines in the UK, their abundance and their distribution is such that most of the major population centres in the UK could have heat supplied from such mines allowing the UK to improve its energy security while simultaneously decarbonising heat. Translation of theory to practise is underway!

(2 Feb 2018)

Dr George Cooper Awarded Geological Society Murchison Fund

Congratulations to George Cooper who has been awarded the The Murchison Fund of the Geological Society of London. The Murchison Fund is awarded to early career geoscientists who have made excellent contributions to the research of ‘hard' rock geology and its application. George is part of the Volcanology Group and has been recognised for his research into magmatic plumbing systems. George will receive the award at a ceremony in London in June.

(2 Feb 2018)