The aim of my research is to generate a new palaeoenvironmental, palaeogeographic and palaeoclimatic understanding of the Neogene NE Atlantic. My project focuses on the multi-proxy environmental analysis of several industrial and scientific boreholes on the NW European continental margin, together with outcrop sampling of Icelandic Pliocene marine successions. I will undertake geochemical analyses (inc. stable isotopes, trace metals and biomarkers) of well preserved organic- and inorganic-walled microfossils to facilitate the development of new palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, including estimations of ocean temperatures. My project also seeks to refine and evaluate geophysical estimates of post-rift basin subsidence using micropalaeontological and geochemical evidence, including the analysis of benthic foraminiferal assemblages (water depth) and fluctuations of terrestrial and marine biomarkers (shoreline distance); such findings should enhance the seismic interpretation of deep-water sedimentary basins (inc. Rockall Basin) in this area of active frontier exploration.
Key objectives include:
1. Determining stratigraphic control and the uplift/subsidence history of north-east Atlantic basins using biomarker and microfossil techniques.
2. Delivering relevant results to industrial partners and providing a framework for improved interpretation of existing and future regional geophysical surveys and basin models.
3. Generating an extensive multi-proxy sea-surface temperature, terrestrial temperature, palaeoenvironmental data set (including atmospheric pCO2 reconstructions) for the NE Atlantic during the mid-Pliocene and Miocene warm periods.
4. Addressing key hypotheses concerning Neogene climate, proxy biases and model sensitivities to CO2