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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences News

News

Fieldwork Bursary from the Yorkshire Geological Society

Tegan Allan fieldwork

Thanks to winning a Fieldwork Bursary of £250 from the Yorkshire Geological Society, Durham Earth Sciences student Tegan Allen is able to undertake extended field-scale trials of a mine water clean-up technology at Cwmystwyth mine in mid-Wales

(16 Aug 2019) » More about Fieldwork Bursary from the Yorkshire Geological Society


Analyte Excite + 193nm Eximer Laser Ablation system (Teledyne Photon Machines)

The department has improved the capability of the geochemistry laboratories by the recent delivery of an Analyte Excite + 193nm Eximer Laser Ablation system (Teledyne Photon Machines). Coupled to our existing Thermo Scientific X-Series 11 ICP-MS this will enable the elemental analysis of solid samples of sizes of 20um and less allowing for great spatial resolution. The instrument will initially be used to develop methods tracking and quantifying magma oxidation state and equilibrium melt composition, using minerals such as amphibole and apatite. Other application areas include: Environmental and geological analysis, including, elemental concentrations isotope ratios and fluid inclusion and Paleo environment reconstruction.

(19 Jul 2019)


First for England as science course taught in prison

Education in prisons has a long history but science, other than distance learning, has been absent - in part because much science teaching traditionally relies on experimentation using technical equipment which is not available in prisons.

But now one of our academics has developed a science course that requires only a presentation, writing and reading materials.

(16 May 2019) » More about First for England as science course taught in prison


Stephen Thomas Receives Freedom of City of London

Dr Stephen Thomas, an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences, was recently honoured as an Engineer by receiving the Freedom of the City of London in a ceremony at the London Guild Hall in February.

(5 Mar 2019) » More about Stephen Thomas Receives Freedom of City of London


New PhD Opportunities Created by Funding Boost

Smart surfaces, offshore wind energy and unmanned electric transportation are some of the subjects students will be able to study and research, thanks to new funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Applications are now open for students to start PhDs in September this year within four Centres for Doctoral Training involving Durham University.

(8 Feb 2019) » More about New PhD Opportunities Created by Funding Boost


2018 AAPG ACE Top 10 Oral Presentations

Congratulations to Dr. Jonny Imber, Stuart Clarke (who presented) and the team on their presentation “The Influence of “Cimmerian” Exhumation on the Hydrocarbon Potential of the Southwest Approaches, Offshore NW Europe which was judged as a “Top 10 Oral Presentations” during the 2018 Annual Convention and Exhibition in Salt Lake City, Utah.

(28 Jan 2019) » More about 2018 AAPG ACE Top 10 Oral Presentations


Outstanding Student Presentation Award

Congratulations to Giacomo Pozzi who has been awarded an outstanding presentation award at AGU2018.

This is a very prestigious award, which is only granted to the top 5% of student participants, and AGU is one the largest conference in our field, with more than 20000 attendees, from all parts of the world.

(25 Jan 2019)


Angela Bentley is awarded the Patrick Moore Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for Education.

(14 Jan 2019) » More about Angela Bentley is awarded the Patrick Moore Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for Education.


GSA Fellowship 2018

David Selby elected by Geological Society of America Council (2018) in recognition of distinguished contributions to the geosciences.

GSA Fellowship web site

(3 Dec 2018)


Italian earthquake data hint at possibility of forecasting one type of quake

Study suggests how ‘sequence’ quakes are constrained by their geology, which could allow scientists to forecast the large follow-up shakes. More information can be found on the Nature News website

(26 Nov 2018)


Research could boost UK’s energy potential.

Durham University research that led to the discovery of new energy supplies in the UK has been shortlisted for a 2018 NERC Impact Award.

A team of researchers led by Professor Bob Holdsworth, Department of Earth Sciences, is shortlisted in the ‘Economic Impact’ category for uncovering the potential of a new type of oil reserve off the west coast of Shetland and the development of a spin-off company, boosting the industry in Scotland.

(5 Nov 2018) » More about Research could boost UK’s energy potential.


Professor Martin H.P. Bott, MA (Cantab), PhD (Cantab), FRS

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Professor Martin Bott on the 20th October; a highly regarded and much-loved member of the Department of Earth Sciences until his retirement, in 1988, to an emeritus but still research active role that lasted a further 30 years up until his death at the age of 92.

(29 Oct 2018) » More about Professor Martin H.P. Bott, MA (Cantab), PhD (Cantab), FRS


Defining the formation of strategic metals

The Central African metallogenic belt, which straddles the border between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a critical province not only for copper (Cu) but also cobalt (Co). The latter, which enables batteries to stock energy without overheating, is a global strategic metal for the technological revolution which is mandatory to face and remediate the challenges of climate change.

A critical aspect of mineral exploration is based on the possibility to rely on a robust genetic model which explains how those Cu-Co deposits formed in the Earth history.

(26 Oct 2018) » More about Defining the formation of strategic metals


Avalanche – making a deadly snowstorm

Explosives, snow and a car were used to trigger an avalanche in an episode of BBC2’s Horizon Programme to reveal more about the mystery behind this natural rollercoaster. The experiment was led by avalanche expert, Professor Jim McElwaine, from Durham University’s Earth Sciences department.

(18 Oct 2018) » More about Avalanche – making a deadly snowstorm


Excellence in Doctoral Supervision Award

Congratulations to Dr Stuart Jones who has won an Excellence in Doctoral Supervision Award from Durham University. The award recognises Stuart’s outstanding supervision of doctoral researchers (> 40 students) to completion of their studies and his significant contribution to their welfare and academic progress. The award was supported by nominations from many of his previous and current doctoral students. Stuart will be presented with the award at the Winter Graduation Ceremony in January 2019.

(25 Sep 2018)


Most Cited 2017 Bulletin of Volcanology paper

Congratulations to Antonio Capponi, who has won the Bulletin of Volcanology most cited paper 2017 award, for an early Career Reseacher. Antonio recieved his award at the conference Cities on Volcanoes 10 in Naples on 7 September, for his paper "Recycled ejecta modulating Strombolian explosions".

(25 Sep 2018)


Protecting against volcanic ash

A first of its kind study, led by Dr Claire Horwell of the Department of Earth Sciences and Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, has found that industry-certified particle masks are most effective at protecting people from volcanic ash, whilst commonly used surgical masks offer less protection.

The study was undertaken in partnership with the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), Edinburgh and the team hopes that their findings will inform responses to future volcanic eruptions.

(17 Sep 2018) » More about Protecting against volcanic ash