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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Staff and Postgraduate Students

Prof Mark Allen, Bsc (Durham) 1987; PhD (Leicester (1991)

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42344
Room number: Rm 311
Deputy Executive Dean (Postgraduate) in the Faculty of Science

Contact Prof Mark Allen (email at m.b.allen@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

2016 - present — Deputy Head of Science Faculty (Postgraduate)

2015 - 2016 — Academic Director, NERC IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership

2014 - present — Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Durham

2013 – 2015  — Deputy Director, Natural Sciences, University of Durham

2005 – 2014  — Reader, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Durham

2003 – 2004  — Deputy Chief Geologist, CASP. Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

1993 – 2004  — Geologist, CASP, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

1990 – 1993  — Computer Officer, Leicester University

1991  — PhD, Leicester

1987  — BSc Hons 1st class: Durham


Career Research Highlights


My research has focused on interdisciplinary studies of Eurasian orogenic belts and sedimentary basins, notably the interactions of deformation, climate and sedimentation in tectonically active regions such as the Caspian, and the Zagros mountains of Iran. I also study aspects of petroleum systems at all scales from the regional, to the effects of fault systems and sedimentary architecture on fluid migration. My PhD involved a lot of igneous geochemistry, and I have recently returned to this subject by looking at the young volcanic rocks of the Iranian plateau. This includes being the PI of a NERC funded project on Orogenic Plateau Magmatism. I use many techniques and disciplines within Earth Sciences, including field-based structural geology and clastic sedimentology, remote sensing, geomorphology, basin modelling, regional synthesis, igneous geochemistry and seismic interpretation. I work closely with specialists in many other fields, including seismology, microstructures, fluid inclusions, heavy mineral provenance studies, isotopic geochemistry/geochronology and gravity/magnetics.


Committee and Society Service


2005 – 2010— Secretary, Northern Regional Group of the Geological Society

2001 – 2006 — Geological Society Petroleum Group committee member


Conferences and Workshops


2012, 2013 —Organiser of Convergent Margin session theme - EGU General Assembly

2011 — Geological Society of London Coupling of Tectonics and Surface Processes, Convenor.

2010 — Orogenic Plateaux session, Convenor - EGU General Assembly

2009 — Arctic and Russia session, Co-convenor. Petroleum Geology Conference #VII


Editorial Roles

2017 - present - Editor, Solid Earth

2003 – 2017 — Editor-in-chief of Geological Magazine

2005 – present — Editorial board member, Tectonophysics

2006 – 2012 — Editorial Board Member, Petroleum Geoscience

2006 — UK national correspondent for ICGP Project 480 “Tectonics of Central Asia”


Keynotes

2018 - Invited speaker, Caltech, California


2011 – "Interactions of Tectonics and Climate in Eurasia" - University of Michigan Smith Lecture Series

2008 – International Union of Geological Sciences 33rd International Geological Congress

2004 – AAPG Hedberg meeting on lacustrine sedimentation, Baku


Prizes & Awards


2004 — AAPG Jules Braunstein Award


Recent and Current Grants


2011 – 2014 — ‘Orogenic Plateau Magmatism’ NERC Standard Grant NE/H021620/1 PI, Co-Is: Davidson, J.P., and Van Hunen, J.


Indicators of Esteem

  • 2018: Invited speaker, Caltech:
  • 2017: Editor, Solid Earth:
  • 2016: Degree programme External Examiner, University of Oxford:
  • 2014: Editor-in-Chief, Geological Magazine:
  • 2014: Member of NERC peer review college:
  • 2013: Co-ordinator, Convergent Tectonic settings sessions, EGU:
  • 2013: Degree programme External Examiner, University of Cambridge:
  • 2011: Smith Lecturer, University of Michigan:
  • 2006: UK national correspondent for ICGP Project 480 “Tectonics of Central Asia”:
  • 2005: Editorial board member, Tectonophysics, from Dec 2005:
  • 2004: AAPG Jules Braunstein Award:
  • 2004: Keynote speaker: AAPG Hedberg meeting on lacustrine sedimentation, Baku, 2004:
  • 2003: Editor of Geological Magazine since February 2003:
  • 2001: Geological Society Petroleum Group committee member:

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Eurasian orogenic belts and sedimentary basins, notably the interactions of deformation, climate and sedimentation in tectonically active regions such as the Caspian and the Zagros mountains.
  • Petroleum systems at all scales from the regional, to the effects of fault systems and sedimentary architecture on fluid migration.

Supervises

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Allen, M.B. (2010). Roles of strike-slip faults during continental deformation: examples from the active Arabia–Eurasia collision. In The Evolving Continents: Understanding Processes of Continental Growth. Kusky, T. M., Zhai, M.-G. & Xiao, W. London: Geological Society, London. 338: 329-344.
  • Hinds, D., Simmons, M.D., Allen, M.B. & Aliyeva, E. (2007). Architecture variability within the Pereriva and Balakhany suites of the Neogene Productive Series, Azerbaijan: implications for reservoir quality. In AAPG Studies in Geology 55: Oil and Gas of the Greater Caspian area. Yilmaz, P.O. & Isaksen, G. Tulsa, Oklahoma: AAPG.
  • Allen, M.B., Walker, R., Jackson, J., Blanc, E.J-P., Talebian, M. & Ghassemi, M.R. (2006). Contrasting styles of convergence in the Arabia-Eurasia collision: Why escape tectonics does not occur in Iran. In Postcollisional tectonics and magmatism in the Mediterranean region and Asia: GSA Special Paper 409. Dilek, Y. & Pavlides, S. Boulder, Colorado: Geological Society of America. 579-589.
  • Kroonenberg, S.B, Simmons, M. D, Alekseevski, N.I, Aliyeva, E, Allen, M.B, Aybulatov, D.N, Baba-Zadeh, A, Badyukova, E.N, Hinds, D.J, Huseynov, D, Ibrahimov B, Mamedov, P, Overeem, I, Povalishnikova, E.N, Rusakov, G.V, Suleymanova, S & Svitoch, A.A (2005). Two deltas, two basins, one river, one sea: the modern Volga delta as an analogue of the Neogene Productive Series, South Caspian Basin. In SEPM memoir on deltaic sedimentation.
  • Allen, M.B, Macdonald, D. I. M, Zhao Xun, Vincent, S.J & Brouet-Menzies, C (1998). Transtensional deformation in the evolution of the Bohai Basin, northern China. In Continental Transpressional and Transtensional Tectonics. London: Spec. Rep. of the Geol. Soc. 135: 215-229.

Journal Article

Show all publications

Departmental Contacts

RoleNameExtemail address
Head of Department Prof. Andy Aplin 42332 a.c.aplin@durham.ac.uk
Undergraduate Admissions Tutor Dr Richard J Brown 42303 richard.brown3@durham.ac.uk
Deputy Undergraduate Admissions Tutor Prof. Fred Worrall 42295 fred.worrall@durham.ac.uk
Chair of the Board of Examiners Prof. Ken McCaffrey 42299
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor Dr. Stuart Jones 42319 stuart.jones@durham.ac.uk
Department Manager Mrs Jill Hoult 42326 j.l.hoult@durham.ac.uk
Learning & Teaching Manager Mrs Janice Oakes 42310 janice.oakes@durham.ac.uk
Finance Manager Mrs Karen Atkinson

42318 or
42542
(engineering)

Finance Administrator Mrs Paula Elliott 43490
Director of Postgraduate Studies Dr Julie Prytulak 42328 julie.prytulak@durham.ac.uk
Director of Research Prof. Ed Llewellin 42336 ed.llewellin@durham.ac.uk
Chair of Education Committee Prof. James Baldini 42334 james.baldini@durham.ac.uk
Director of Undergraduate Studies Prof. Claire Horwell 42253 claire.horwell@durham.ac.uk
Staff-Student Liaison Committee Chair Prof. Claire Horwell 42253 claire.horwell@durham.ac.uk
Natural Sciences Academic Contact Prof. Yaoling Niu 42311
Safety Officer Dr Chris Ottley 42325
Safety Adviser Fieldwork Dr Nic de Paola 42333 nicola.de-paola@durham.ac.uk
Senior Research Administrator Mrs Dianne Whatcott 42305

dianne.whatcott@durham.ac.uk

Departmental Superintendent Mr James Dyson 42281

james.dyson@durham.ac.uk

Department International Coordinator Prof. Dave Selby 42294

Contact Dave Selby