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Durham University

Research & business

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Prof Ken McCaffrey, BSc Belfast (1986), PhD Dunelm (1990)

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42322
Room number: Level 2 East Wing Annex Rm 251

Contact Prof Ken McCaffrey (email at


3/00- present






Earth Sciences, University of Durham,

Professor, Earth Sciences from October 2013

Reader, from October 2008, Senior Lecturer, from October 2004, Lecturer, from 2000.

Royal Society Industrial Fellow (50% FTE)

Director – Centre for Research in Earth Energy System (CeREES)

7/95 - 2/00


Dept of Geological Sciences Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK

Lecturer, Senior Lecturer from 1997)

10/91 – 6/95

Geology Department, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Postdoctoral Fellow, Temporary Lecturer from 1993.



University of Durham - Ph.D. Awarded 1990.

Thesis: ‘The emplacement and deformation of granitic rocks in a transpressional shear zone: The Ox Mountains Igneous Complex'

Higher Education


Queen’s University Belfast

Geology B.Sc. (Honours)

Committee and Society Service

2013 – present — Member of Petroleum Group Committee, Geological Society of London

2000 – 2002 — Member of Science Committee, Geological Society of London

2000 – 2002 — Secretary, Tectonic Studies Group

Conferences and Workshops

2016 -- Fifty years of the Wilson Cycle Concept in Plate Tectonics Geological Society london Co-convenor

2011  — Tectonic Studies Group Annual Meeting

2011  — New constratints on active fault zones. AGU

2011  — Shale and Coal Basins of North East England: Opportunities for Research and Industry Collaboration - NPESMD, India School of Mines

2009  — Lead Convener, Virtual Fieldtrips session, 7th Petroleum Geology Conference

2009  — Tectonic reactivation and Fault Zone weakening. AGU

2006  — Unlocking 3D Earth Systems – Harnessing New Digital Technologies to Revolutionize Multi-Scale Geologic Models. GSA Penrose Meeting – University of Durham

2004  — Tectonic Studies Group Annual Meeting – University of Durham

2002  — Transport and Flow processes within Shear Zones - Geological Society, London

2001  — Hydrocarbons in Crystalline rocks - Geological Society, London

2001  — Deformation at Convergent Margins – European Union Geosciences XI Strasbourg

2001  — Vertical and horizontal coupling and decoupling processes in Orogenic Belts – American Geophysical Union, San Francisco

Editorial Roles

2006 – 2012 '— Specials' editor for the Geological Society of London

Editor Visual Geosciences

Invited Keynotes

Invited International Lectures

2012 — Natural Fractures in Shale gas basins of NE England, Geoshale Conference, Warsaw.

2011 — ‘Shale basins of NE England: Opportunities for research and Industry collaboration’, Industry/Academia collaboration session, Indian Geological Congress, Indian School of Mines Dhanbad.

2011 — ‘Virtual fieldwork using terrestrial laser scanning and Google Earth’– Google Earth: Visualizing the Possibilities for Geoscience Education and Research, GSA Penrose at Google HQ, San Francisco

2010 — From Depositional Systems to Sedimentary Successions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, Norwegian Petroleum systems, Stavanger

2010Digital Geospatial methods in Earth Sciences’ Italian National Geophysical & Volcanology – Pisa, Italy

2007 — Capturing Detailed Outcrop Geology using Terrestrial Laser Scanning (Lidar) and other digital technologies: Current status and Future directions’(Jones R.R. & McCaffrey, K.J.W) AGU San Francisco

2006 Magma Chamber Processes and Geometries 'What is a magma chamber? The role of sheet in the assembly of intrusions' session GSA Salt Lake City.

2002 — ‘Dimensional Data and Growth Models for Tabular Intrusions’ Laccolith and sill intrusion meeting, Freiberg, Germany

1998 — ‘Magmatic versus tectonic influences on granite emplacement’ AGU Annual Spring meeting – Boston

1997 — ‘Tabular plutonic sheets: Geometry and emplacement’ GAC/MAC annual meeting – Ottawa

1996 — ‘Scale invariant geometry of tabular sheet intrusions?’ Syntectonic crystallisation of igneous rocks – Vaxenburg, Austria

Prizes & Awards

2005 — Murchsion Fund - Geological Society

2001 — Durham University Excellence in teaching Award

1993 — Ramsay medal

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Interests

  • Geoinformatics methods and applications
  • High resolution 3D/4D modelling of continental margins
  • Magmatic and mineralised systems
  • Reservoir models of fractured reservoir analogues including shale basins
  • Structural characterisation of fault and shear zones
  • Tectonic and magmatic interactions
  • Tectonic and mechanical processes of active normal faults and earthquake activity
  • The geometrical and kinematic evolution of deformation zones
  • Visualisation and analysis of geological architecture

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Tectonics: Faults and Fracture systems, Earthquakes, Laser scanning, digital mapping, structural geology


Selected Grants

  • 2016: Inspire: Identifying North Sea Palaezozoic Prospectivity (£239948.00 from Oil and Gas Authority)
  • 2016: Rapid Investigation of Co- and Post-Seismic Deformation Resulting From the 24th August 2016 Amatrice Earthquake (M 6.2) (£4902.63 from Natural Environmental Research Council)
  • 2016: Rapid investigation of co and post-seismic deformation resulting from the 24th August 2016 Amatrice Earthquake (M 6.2) NERC Urgency grant £52.3K
  • 2012: Clair Sponsored Studentship (£140000.00 from BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd)
  • 2012: Earthquake hazard from 36-CI exposure dating time and Coulomb stress transfer (£45707.00 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2012: Geoenergy Research Visit from Jammu University (£567.20 from Epsrc)
  • 2012: Petroleum Habitats in Magma-rich Margins (£120000.00 from Shell)
  • 2011: Characterising fracture systems in mixed volcanic and sedimentary sequences: Implications for petroleum potential in the West of Shetland Province (£94609.50 from OMV (UK) Ltd)
  • 2011: Laser Scan: Namibia (£13200.00 from Royal Holloway University of London)
  • 2010: NERC CASE Studentship (£12000.00 from Epsrc)
  • 2009: A LiDAR and field study of surface rupture and post-seismic slip for the 6th April 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake (M6.3) (£27350.74 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2008: Evolution of Fluvial Systems, Central Iberian Basin Spain - Studentship (£75000.00 from ConocoPhillips Skandinavia SAS)
  • 2005: Basement Inheritance for Geological Architectures £84K Royal Society
  • 2005: Basement-influenced oblique tectonics of rifts and continental margins £100K BP Exploration
  • 2004: The commercialisation of GAVA – Geospatial Acquisition, Visualisation and Analysis: a new tool for field-based scientists £84.3K NERC
  • 2003: Crustal melting and lithospheric strength in collisonal orogens: an evaluation of channel flow 26.3K (NERC)
  • 2002: 3-D structural architecture and reactivation of fractures in the NE England coalfield £3K British Geological Survey
  • 2002: Introduction of 3-D computer visualization models in an Earth Science undergraduate mapping training class £1.2K GEES (ILT subject centre)
  • 2001: Quantifying fault zone evolution and basement reactivation in passive margins c. £237K NERC LINK thematic programme