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Durham University

Research & business

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Professor Mark Noel

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Honorary Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences

(email at rockside@manx.net)

After completing a BSc in Combined Sciences at Leicester University in 1972, Mark undertook a PhD in sediment palaeomagnetism at Newcastle with Don Tarling, staying to research techniques for the magnetic dating of archaeological fired materials.

In 1980 he joined the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences and spent three years studying seafloor heat flow as part of a team evaluating possible sites for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. This research involved six cruises aboard IOS vessels in the North Atlantic, experience which proved invaluable in his subsequent career.

He then took up a lectureship in geophysics at Sheffield University where he built up a diverse research group pursuing studies in cave sediment palaeomagnetism, archaeological prospection and dating, instrumentation and heat flow. The UGC Earth Science Review provided an opportunity to move to Durham in 1989 where he took up a joint appointment between the Departments of Archaeology and Geology (as it was then). Seeing an opportunity in a developing market, Mark founded GeoQuest Associates in 1991 to offer geophysical survey and magnetic dating services to the archaeological community. After moving to the Isle of Man in 2005, he established a second business, Rockwave, which designs and manufactures seismometers for the amateur and educational markets. Using this home-brewed instrumentation, Mark operates a seismic array on the Isle of Man for investigating ocean microseisms and teleseismic events.