Author Archive

Sedimentology at AGCC 2018

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Meetings

The big Australian Earth Science event of 2018 is almost upon us - AGCC 2018!

In addition to the technical sessions, please come along to a Sedimentologists gathering! This informal meeting will hopefully be a great opportunity to get together with lovers of sedimentology from across the country and overseas, to meet old friends and makes some new ones. We hope to see you there, 6-7pm Tesday 16th October, meeting room R4.

The full program has now been released, and it is looking to be a most excellent meeting. For the sedimentology community, there are a lot of sessions to keep an eye out for,some of which are:
- Source-to-sink sedimentary Basin Processes
- Advances in structural, igneous metamorphic and sedimentary geology
- Prediction, Process, Place: Geomorphology
- Understanding the Surface
- Earth's Climate, Past, Present and Future
- Marine Geoscience - the Evolving Oceans
- Ancient and Historical Record of Life in Australia
- The Origins and Development of Life
- Mass Extinctions
- Petroleum and its co-products
- Groundwater challenges and opportunities
- The National Virtual Core Library
- Planning the Future of Geoscience
- Geoscience aspects of the storage of energy related waste
- Geoscience data delivery
- Ediacaran and Cambrian Symposium
- Mathematics, modelling, AI, robotics and machine learning applied to the acquisition and interpretation of large or complex geoscience data sets
- Geohazards, risk and mitigation
- Geology in Society: geotourism and geoheritage
- Geobiology
- Optimisation and uncertainties in Earth models
- Making better exploration decisions through an integrated geoscience approach

PhD position at UQ: restoration of South-East Asian peatlands

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Opportunities, Student Scholarships

Please find some information below about a joint PhD project between the University of Queensland and the University of Exeter. More details on the application process can be found at

Assessment of the restoration of South-East Asian peatlands through sedimentological and palaeoecological analysis

Associate Professor Patrick Moss, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences UQ, Associate Professor Paul Dargusch, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Exeter, Dr Angela Gallego-Sala, Geography, Professor Dan Charman, Geography.

The tropical peatlands of South East Asia are a significant storehouse of carbon (~69 Gt of carbon and 77% of global peat carbon), however these peatlands have been extensively drained for agricultural activity and as a results of this there has been a dramatic increase in the frequency and intensity of peatland fires. These fires generate significant carbon emissions and generate air pollution that impacts the health of millions of people. Peatland fire hotspots include the Indonesia islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan but also impact the broader South-East Asian archipelago region.

Around thirteen million hectares of peatland has been degraded and the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) of Indonesia has been tasked with accelerating the restoration of 2.5 million hectares of priority degraded peat-domes in Sumatra and Kalimantan. This restoration effort will be achieved through the rewetting of the peat-domes through raising groundwater levels through the damming of canals that have been used to drain peatlands.

An important aspect of this restoration effort is an assessment of how the peat soils and associated vegetation are recovering and the provision of targets to provide an appropriate measure of success. A key way that this can be achieved is through some insight into the state of the peatland soils prior to when they were degraded and the peat soils themselves provides the opportunity to achieve this, as they contain a record, through a range of environmental proxies (including pollen, charcoal, testate amoebae, sediment composition and geochemical properties).

This project will investigate peat domes from Kalimantan and Sumatra using high-resolution sedimentological and palaeoecological analysis (i.e. sub-decadal scale) for the last 500 years. This will provide baseline data that will provide a framework for peat restoration, particularly in terms of an assessment of how successful it is (i.e. what are natural levels of plant biodiversity, peat composition and groundwater hydrology), but also how resilient peat swamp forests and soils are to past periods of environmental change (both anthropogenic and natural climatic impacts). Apply

Submit UQ expression of interest form by 26 May 2018

PhD opportunity in sea level reconstruction

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Opportunities, Student Scholarships

Sea-Level Reconstructions at subsiding coastlines in New Zealand Project Description Satellite and tide-gauge observations from around the globe show sea level rising at accelerating rates that are projected to continue. Whilst the underlying causes are well understood, much less certain is how different coastal areas will be affected. In tectonically active New Zealand, subsiding coastal areas will exacerbate the effects of ice melt and thermosteric expansion. Recent GPS observations provide a basis for constraining vertical land movement (VLM) and targeting high-risk coastlines, but - much like the recent sea-level observations - they need to be evaluated in a longer term context. For example, we do not know if the direction of VLM observed at one locality has been maintained beyond the few decades for which observations exist.

This project aims to address the problem with a two-pronged approach. First, it will compare existing decadal (instrumental) and centennial (geological) records for sea-level change in New Zealand with recent GPS observations for VLM to provide a national scale assessment of the tectonic impacts of recent sea-level rise. Second, and guided by this first task, the project will develop new centennial-scale sea-level reconstructions at a small number of targeted sites where VLM is likely to have been significant. This second phase of the project will include a substantial amount of fieldwork and labwork, applying proxy methods for reconstructing sea-level change from microfossils (foraminifera and, possibly, diatoms) preserved in salt-marsh sediments. The outcomes of this PhD project will inform local sea-level projections and, more generally, coastal infrastructure providers, national policy statements and hazards and planning guidance documents. This project is also part of a much wider research programme aimed at determining how future sea-level rise will affect New Zealand's coasts.

The studentship will be based at Victoria University of Wellington, but with provision to work for ca. 3 months at University of York, UK. Depending on available skills and experience, the successful applicant will receive training in palaeoecological techniques, modelling, dating methods, and field techniques. The supervisory team includes Victoria supervisors Prof. Rewi Newnham and Dr Andrew Rees (New Zealand Quaternary, modelling and statistical analysis) and Prof. Roland Gehrels at the University of York (UK) (sea-level reconstruction and salt-marsh geology). The project is open to students with a Masters degree in Physical or Environmental Geography, Geology, Environmental Science or a closely-related subject. Relevant field and lab skills and interests in sea-level and climate change are obviously a plus. Experience in using R for analysing environmental data would be beneficial.

Funding Notes and Application Procedure:

Fully funded for 3 years, the studentship covers an annual stipend of $NZ25,000, research costs, and tuition fees. Studentships are available to non-resident New Zealand students (language requirements apply for non-native English speakers).

To apply, please send CV, a brief (one page max.) account of why this position interests you and the names of two academic referees who we may contact in support of your application. Applications close: April 30th 2018 Further inquiries to Rewi Newnham: or Roland Gehrels:

Post-doctoral research position, Quaternary Science Australian Biodiversity and Heritage

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Job Vacancies, Opportunities

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) is a major new research and education initiative that brings together leading Australian universities with strategically important Australian and international partners. Their goal is to tell the epic story of Australia's rich and distinctive natural and human history by revolutionising our knowledge of the events and processes that have shaped this nation, and combining that knowledge with cutting-edge modelling techniques to manage and protect our natural and cultural resources into the future. Learn more about the Centre at:

There is a position available for a post-doctoral research fellow (two year, fixed-term appointment) for a researcher in Quaternary science who will undertake essential field campaigns and palaeoclimatic/palaeoenvironmental analyses to support the CABAH research program in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

Individuals with a background in any of the following are encouraged to apply; Quaternary geomorphology, palaeohydrology, geochronology, palaeoclimatology or palaeoecology.

The postdoc vacancy is now live! Link here:

Peer Prize for Women in Science

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Research Stories

The Peer Prize for Women in Science is now open for voting! This is an annual prize for women researchers across Australia with a mission to accelerate open knowledge exchange and cross-disciplinary innovation. Researchers from around the world can log in to vote; last year’s inaugural competition had over 1400 researchers vote and the competition engaged nearly 100 000 people.

There are a couple of sedimentology entries:
Dr Sara Moron (University of Melbourne) presents a research project investigating the controls on levee breaching and crevasse splay and avulsion formation. You can see her entry, including a nice short video explaining her research, here:

Mardi McNeil (Queensland University of Technology) presents research, and a great short video, on carbonate reef sediments from algal bioherms:

If you're a researcher (anywhere in the world), then you can register and vote for your preferred entry. Please do!

You can view all entries here:

Voting closes on June 16th 2017.


3 year postdoctoral fellow in sedimentology and stratigraphy at the University of Adelaide

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Job Vacancies, Opportunities

There is a Level A fixed-term full-time postdoctoral fellow position available at the University of Adelaide in the Australian School of Petroleum, available immediately until 2020. Closing date for applications is Monday 8th May.

Advert and further information:

Position requirements

To be successful you should have:

Essential minimum criteria

An undergraduate or Masters degree in geology and a higher degree or near completion in petroleum geoscience (PhD or equivalent) Expertise in the following areas:

Sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy of siliciclastic strata
Dating of strata by using CA-TIMS analyses of zircons
Palynological analysis of Mesozoic strata
Subsurface correlation

Ability to work constructively within a research group (including graduate students, post-docs, senior academic staff and professional staff) and under the direction of a supervisor
Good written (e.g. technical reports and scientific journal publications) and oral communication skills (e.g. seminars and conference presentations)
Evidence of ability to undertake, complete and write-up scientific research (e.g. scientific journal publications)
Ability to undertake fieldwork and participate in oceanic research cruises

Desirable characteristics

A knowledge of the Mesozoic stratigraphy and paleogeography of south and east Australia
An understanding of conventional and unconventional petroleum resources

Please address and upload your responses to the selection criteria section of the position description within the online application. If you have any queries regarding this position, please contact Professor Peter McCabe, Head of School, telephone: +61 (0)8 8313 8036 or email:

Lecturer in Coastal Geomorphology opportunity at the University of Melbourne

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Job Vacancies, Opportunities

Job opening: c. 4 year fixed term position as Lecturer in Coastal Geomorphology within the School of Geography, University of Melbourne. Applications are invited from all relevant sub-disciplines of coastal research with a preference for experience in Geographic Information Science and/or remote sensing. Closing date for applications: 25 Jun 2017

IODP 371 – opportunity for an experienced ANZ sedimentologist

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Uncategorized

There is a new call for HIGHLY EXPERIENCED ANZ SEDIMENTOLOGISTS to apply for a position on IODP Expedition 371.
For shipboard scientist responsibilities see
Deadline of November 7, 2016.

This is a wonderful opportunity for suitable ANZIC scientists to join Expedition 371, which will sail from 27 July to 26 September 2017. The chance of an excellent applicant being accepted is clearly high, as a clear lack of expertise has been identified. For the sedimentological position, experience of shipboard core analysis, and ideally ODP/IODP experience, would clearly be an advantage.

Brief outline: The Tasman Frontier expedition (based on IODP Proposals 832-Full2, will investigate the Eocene Tonga-Kermadec (TK) subduction initiation (SI) and evaluate whether a period of high-amplitude long-wavelength compression led to initiation of TK subduction or determine if alternative geodynamic models were involved. Core and log data from boreholes in the Norfolk Ridge, New Caledonia Trough, Lord Howe Rise and Tasman abyssal plain will provide constraints on seismic stratigraphic interpretations and the timing and length scale of deformation and uplift associated with the largest known global SI event and change in plate motion. The Paleogene and Neogene sediments will also constrain paleoceanographic changes caused by SI as well as tropical and polar climatic teleconnections and the transition from greenhouse to icehouse climate states in a region with large meridional variations in surface water properties in a strategic ‘Southern Ocean Gateway’ setting.

ANZIC applications
Australians should visit for a link to the application form, a completed version of which should be sent to Neville Exon ( and Rob McKay ( New Zealanders should contact Giuseppe Cortese ( Don't hesitate to contact us for more information or advice.
Applicants should bear in mind that their applications will be firstly reviewed and ranked by ANZIC and, if they pass that hurdle, by the expedition co-chief scientists. Clearly, they need to convince both groups that they would be excellent in the role.
Note that non-tenured applicants must have a position at an Australian or New Zealand member institution for at least one year and ideally more after the expedition, to enable them to carry out the necessary post cruise research.

As well as the form, applicants should provide, all in a single PDF:
1. Participation Plan and Budget (maximum of four pages): This should set out why ypu are interested in the expedition, how your skills suit the position applied for, what you would bring to the expedition, and the nature of your initial post-cruise research plans (including publication plans), and a brief outline of what budget you might need beyond that covered by their institution. Normally, to maximise the return to ANZIC from the involvement of our scientists on expeditions, we ask that applicants endeavour to assemble a team, including ANZIC scientists, of potential land-based science party members in various fields, set out who has agreed to join that team if you are successful, and what they would aim to do post-cruise. The potential existence of such a team, which would provide additional analytical and scientific skills, would strengthen the applications. If all went to plan, the team members could become part of the land-based science party, and thus get early access to material from the vessel. Of course, final research plans will depend on the material actually recovered by the vessel, and negotiations aboard ship as to who does what. There may not be time to do this in this case, and the main thing is to get in a coherent and convincing application for yourself. If you can indicate the nature of a team that may join you, please do so.
2. Curriculum Vitae including selected publications (maximum of two pages)
3. Letter of support for non-tenured applicants by their supervisor: This should cover general support from the institution for the application, include an outline of the proffered post-cruise support, and indicate when the present position will end.

For ANZIC scientists all travel costs would be covered. In addition the ANZIC IODP Office may provide up to $A40,000 for post-cruise activities (mainly analytical costs) for Australian and New Zealand university and research institution scientists and post-graduate students, if funding cannot be obtained in any other way. Applications for such funding can only be made after expeditions are completed and samples are in hand.

The deadline for scientists to submit applications to ANZIC is Monday, 7 November, 2016.

Two PhD Projects at the University of Adelaide

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Opportunities


Depositional Environments and Palaeogeography of the Neoproterozoic to Cambrian in the Flinders Ranges

Summary of potential research projects

The Flinders Ranges in South Australia present excellent surface exposures of the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Adelaide Rift Complex, including sediments deposited in fluvial-deltaic to deep marine environments, large canyons and salt-diapir formed minibasins. These have great significance globally, as the Tonian to Cryogenian succession hosts key sections demonstrating extreme climatic variations through this time, whereas the upper part of the Ediacaran succession hosts exceptional palaeontological evidence for the evolution of multi-cellular life, thus representing a key time in Earth history. In addition, the sedimentary record of the Flinders Ranges has great potential for use as an analogue for similar successions in the subsurface, including hydrocarbon systems in some of the world’s most productive regions, for which there are few outcrop analogues that are as well exposed as they are here.

The rift complex formed as Rodinia split apart, yet the timing and tectonic geography of this are highly contentious with arguments about the identification of the conjugate eastern continent and the timing of rift-drift as the nascent Pacific Ocean developed. Broad palaeogeographic maps exist for the region, but by integrating sedimentology with modern geochronological techniques, these projects aim to document the sediment distribution systems, provenance evolution and tectono-geographic evolution of the Adelaide Rift Complex. There is a great potential for new detailed description and interpretation of these successions, many of which have not been previously studied, or not studied from a detailed sedimentologic perspective. The findings of this research will have broad impact.

Depending on the skills and interests of the successful applicants, potential project foci could include:
• What was the large-scale tectonic geography of the area in the Neoproterozoic? What was the open-ocean connection, when and where was this?
• Detailed interpretation of the depositional environments of the large canyons within the upper Ediacaran.
• Formulation of forward model concepts that describe dynamics of the mechanisms hypothesised to have driven canyon forming.
• Sedimentology of the Cambrian section, and potentially expansion of focus to explore a comparison between this and other Centralian Superbasin basins (e.g. the Officer and Amadeus). This could potentially become a basin-to-basin comparison between analogous strata. Basic correlations have been presented previously, but this has not been done from a detailed sedimentology, provenance, and geochemistry perspective.
• Relation of the middle Cambrian of the Flinders Ranges to the formation of circum-Gondwana orogenesis directly after the supercontinent amalgamated (i.e. a focus on sedimentology, provenance and age-dating).

Methods will include extensive fieldwork in the central and northern Flinders Ranges, involving basic geological field mapping techniques along with constructing detailed stratigraphic logs, in order to investigate sediment thickness, facies variations. Laboratory work will enable improved age constraints on the formations and likely involve U-Pb zircon and apatite, fission track detrital apatite and 40Ar-39Ar detrital muscovite analysis.

Up to two projects are available, with:
Principal supervisors: Dr Kathryn Amos and Prof Alan Collins
Co-Supervisors from a team of: Dr Mark Bunch, Dr Ros King and Dr Stijn Glorie

Eligibility and funding: If interested in this project, you need to apply to Dr Kathryn Amos ( to express interest and discuss your suitability, ASAP! A keen interest and background in sedimentology and field geology is required. You will need to have a 1st class or Upper 2nd class Honours degree (or predicted grades if you’re doing Honours this year), or a relevant Master’s degree that contains a significant research component.

The successful candidate will then need to successfully apply for a University of Adelaide Domestic Scholarship (including the Australian Postgraduate Award and Divisional Scholarships - Australian and New Zealand Residents are eligible to apply). The deadline for this is October 31st . You would need to commence study before 31st March 2017.

Funding is available to cover research expenses and attendance of at least one international conference.

How to apply: Contact Dr Kathryn Amos with your expression of interest. Please attach a copy of your degree transcripts if you are not a University of Adelaide student or graduate.

More information:
Dr Kathryn Amos,
Prof. Alan Collins,
Dr Mark Bunch,

Australian School of Petroleum and School of Physical Sciences, Centre for Tectonics, Resources and Exploration, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia.

Further details on scholarships:

Note: This is not open to international applicants as the deadline for International Postgraduate Research Scholarships for Semester 1 2017 has passed.


PhD projects in volcanology and sedimentology at the University of Tasmania

Written by Kathryn Amos on . Posted in Uncategorized

The University of Tasmania (Australia) is inviting applications for two PhD projects in submarine volcanology and sedimentology. Formal application deadline is mid-October, and candidates should make contact ASAP. The first project is based on the products of the deep submarine eruption of Havre in 2012 (Kermadec arc). The second project is based on consolidated samples from the IODP Expedition 350 in the IBM rear-arc, and may be linked to other past IODP expeditions.

The candidate selection is highly competitive amongst the University, and we are seeking an applicant with at least one published article in a peer-reviewed journal.
The student would be part of the dynamic Submarine Volcanism Group at the University of Tasmania, and would benefit from a large panel of experts in Earth Sciences in general. Geology and Oceanography at the University of Tasmania have received the maximum grade of 5 in the 2012 Australian ERA rankings (i.e., ‘well above world standard’). The Faculty hosts the world-class ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits (CODES), and the Central Science Laboratory at the University of Tasmania has world-class geochemical instruments.

Project 1:
Sediment transport during and after the 2012 deep submarine eruption of the Havre volcano (Kermadec arc)
Supervisors: Dr. Martin Jutzeler (U. Tasmania, Australia), Dr. Rebecca Carey (U. Tasmania, Australia) and A/Prof. James DL White (U. Otago, NZ).
Very little is known on the transport and sedimentation processes occurring in association with deep submarine eruptions and their aftermaths. This project aims to: 1) Identify and characterise various syn- and post-eruptive sediment transport associated with the products of the 2012 deep submarine Havre eruption (Kermadec arc). Available data include exceptional ROV video footage, high-resolution bathymetry, and sediment samples collected during a cruise in 2015; 2) Reconstruct the general sedimentation pattern around the Havre volcano, including the various currents in the water column; 3) Analogue sedimentation experiments with mixed components in water tanks and flumes.

Project 2:
Provenance of volcaniclastic units from IODP 350 cores, and creation of a facies-based database for submarine volcaniclastic deposits
Supervisors: Dr. Martin Jutzeler, Dr. Rebecca Carey, Prof. Ray Cas (U. Tasmania)
In 2014, the IODP 350 expedition drilled at proximity of volcanic seamounts in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana rear-arc. This expedition was part of a huge investment from the international Earth science community to understand evolution of volcanic island arcs and formation of continental crust in a global perspective, and through three IODP expeditions. From the collected cores, there is a strong opportunity for outstanding and innovative research on submarine sedimentology and volcanology. IODP Expedition 350 recovered more than 1,800 m of in situ sediments from a volcano-bounded basin and a volcanic apron in the rear of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc, giving an exceptional proximal to distal record of submarine volcanic activity during the Miocene to the Quaternary. The cores used in this project would be multiple well-preserved, consolidated volcaniclastic deposits from the lower part of the hole (Units II to VII). This extensive dataset will provide an outstanding record of submarine explosive eruptions, providing temporal constrain on frequency and types of eruptions from underwater volcanoes. It will be the base of a global dataset for submarine volcanogenic facies. This project has large implications on transport and sedimentation processes during subaerial and submarine eruptions, style of submarine volcanism, provenance of sediments, eruption periodicity, etc. Additional research on samples from other IODP expeditions (126, 340) and possible onland deposits (e.g. USA, Japan) is likely.

For interested applicants in either projects, please send your CV, with name and address of 1-2 referees to Martin Jutzeler at: