Derren Cresswell

Derren Cresswell

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Derren is undertaking doctoral research in the area of structural geology focusing on the evolution of rifting and break-up of the west Galicia continental margin. Using a recently acquired (summer 2013) 3D seismic reflection data set he is undertaking structural and sedimentary interpretation of the margin to understand the mechanisms at play during extension and rift development.

Important considerations are the role of low angle detachments, sequential and polyphase faulting and the recognition of the detailed nature of syn-rift sedimentary architecture. A key element and novelty of the research is determining how the structures vary in three dimensions.

In addition to the interpretation of the dataset Derren will also use the 3D structural modeling software Move (Midland Valley) to determine geological realistic reconstructions of sections of the margin.

Derren contributes to the teaching of undergraduate geologists through demonstrating on field course and in laboratory sessions.


  • BSc (Hons) Natural Environmental Science (Earth Science) - Sheffield
  • MRes Waste Management – Leeds
  • PGCE Geology/Science – Keele
  • MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics - Leeds


Prior to returning to academia to undertake his MSc in Structural Geology with Geophysics at the University of Leeds Derren worked in the waste minerals, quarrying and mining research field for over 12 years.

In close collaboration with industry he undertook research at the University of Leeds on the utilization of a variety of mineral wastes and organic residues to produce high specification lightweight aggregates for the construction industry.

As a project manager for the Mineral Industry Research Organisation he was responsible for coordinating a number of projects to minimize and mitigate the impacts of quarrying, the life cycle analysis of quarrying and understanding the beneficial use of waste in the construction sector.

Derren's long term aim was to be a geoscience researcher in geodynamics and is thus fulfilling a long term aim by undertaking his PhD at Birmingham.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Continental extension leading to breakup: The 3D structure of the west Galicia rifted margin
Dr Carl Stevenson and Professor Tim Reston


Research interests

Structural geology, especially extensional tectonics. In addition he is interested in structural inversion and the role of structural inheritance in tectonics. The fractal nature of deformation structures and the application of structural geology to ore deposits are also interests.


Laursen, K, White, T. J., Cresswell, D.J.F., et al. 2006 Recycling of an industrial sludge and marine clay as light-weight aggregates Journal of Environmental Management 80 (3) 208-213

Wainwright, P.J., Cresswell, D.J.F., van der Sloot, H.A., 2002 The production of synthetic aggregate from a quarry waste using an innovative style rotary kiln Waste Management & Research 20 (3) 279-28

van der Sloot, H.A., Hoede, D., Cresswell, D.J.F., et al. 2001 Leaching behaviour of synthetic aggregates Waste Management 21 (3)221-228

Wainwright, P.J., Cresswell, D.J.F., 2001 Synthetic aggregates from combustion ashes using an innovative rotary kiln Waste Management 21(3) 241-246