Tectonostratigraphic evolution of the West African Passive Margin: Senegal and The Gambia

Fully funded PhD studentship through the North Africa Research Group

Host University: University of Manchester

Supervisors: Prof Jonathan Redfern, Prof Mads Huuse (Manchester), Prof Giovanni Bertotti (TuDelft)

Data Sponsors: TGS, PGS, Spectrum and Petrosen

A fully funded PhD studentship to start in Sept 2019 to examine the evolution of the MSGBC Basin along the Atlantic margin of Senegal and The Gambia. The study will focus on interpretation of an extensive seismic database donated by TGS, PGS and Spectrum, together with data supplied by  Petrosen.  The aim is to refine our understanding of the structure, stratigraphic architecture, subsidence history, palaeogeography and facies trends across the margin. The work will integrate the seismic with data from DSDP and ODP boreholes, exploration wells (cuttings data and wireline log data), limited outcrop studies and analysis of onshore / offshore seismic and gravity / magnetic data to define structural and stratal relationships and sedimentary facies.  Comparison will be made with work being undertaken in Morocco, and studies already ongoing in Senegal to examine the relationships of the Jurassic and Cretaceous depositional trends along the NW Africa margin and the conjugate margin offshore USA / Canada.

This 4-year PhD project will include generation of regional TWT, Depth and thickness maps for key horizons and regional unconformities, tied to the available borehole data.  Detailed seismic facies analysis will also be undertaken using state of the art workstation software. The aim is to improve understanding of the structural history of passive margin basins, and the controls on depositional style, location of sinks and generation of unconformities within the basins. A key aspect will be to use available data to assess timing and rate of subsidence and the resultant basin fill.  This will allow integration with the ongoing provenance study onshore Senegal and regional studies being undertaken on geochronology of the hinterland uplift history.

The North Africa Research Group (NARG) is an integrated research group combining the strengths of the Universities of Manchester, Heriot Watt and Delft, funded by a large consortium of industry companies. The group is undertaking extensive projects across North Africa, and have recently embarked on a major series of integrated studies examining Mesozoic depositional systems on/offshore the NW African Atlantic seaboard, together with the conjugate margin in the USA and Nova Scotia.  This is an area of active oil and gas exploration and the results from this study will have an important impact on the understanding of the petroleum systems and development of the passive margin.

We seek a highly motivated candidate with the following skills:

-       1st , high 2.1 or masters in geology / petroleum geoscience

-       good background in sedimentology and stratigraphic principles, ideally having conducted similar projects at undergraduate or master level

-       knowledge of clastic and carbonate depositional systems

-       knowledge of seismic stratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy

-       aptitude for workstation applications including subsurface interpretation and geographic information systems

-       Independent worker with good organizational skills

-       team working skills, with ability to integrate with other team members and industry partners

-       knowledge of French is an advantage but not a pre-requisite

The Basin Studies and Petroleum Geoscience Group at Manchester has 11 academic staff and over 40 PhDs, and offers access to world-leading facilities and research expertise for stratigraphic and sedimentological studies.  Training is offered through specialist seminars within the group and the opportunity to take selected masters courses from the Petroleum Geoscience MSc.  The successful candidate will also have opportunities to interact with and present results to industry partners, and will typically undertake a 3-month internship with one of our sponsor companies 

We have extensive facilities, as may be expected in a world leading University.   We have the most extensive seismic lab in the UK, with over 80 workstations, and access to all leading software. The student will utilise Petrel, Paleoscan and other related software for mapping and interpretation.

Full scholarship:  4 years funding from the North Africa Research Group, includes all fees, living allowance, access to software, conference attendance and analytical expenses.

Application:  please apply online at:     http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/how-to-apply/      quoting this PhD advert and the lead supervisor Prof Jonathan Redfern.

Applications should be submitted by September 1st  2019 

Selected candidates will be called for interview in early September, and we are aiming for an October start to the PhD.

The work will be linked to ongoing projects being undertaken by the North Africa Research Group (NARG)

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