Dr Stephen Jones

Dr Stephen Jones

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Senior Lecturer in Earth Systems

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Steve Jones is a numerate geologist who studies the influence of the deep earth on climate. His published work spans mantle and crustal processes, oceanography and atmospheric science.


Steve is a geologist with wide-ranging research interests, including links between solid earth, oceanic & atmospheric processes; convecting mantle, lithospheric & mid-ocean ridge interactions; influence of mantle & plate motions on hydrocarbon systems development; the North Atlantic as a natural laboratory to study these processes; Cenozoic climate change, including the Paleocene/ Eocene Thermal Maximum and the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation; and seismic oceanography.

2009 - present: Senior Lecturer in Earth Systems, School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham 

2003 - 2009: Lecturer, Trinity College, University of Dublin 

2001 - 2003: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Bullard Laboratories, University of Cambridge, ‘Spatial and temporal scales of mantle convection’ 

2000 - 2001: Research Assistant, CASP (Cambridge Arctic Shelf Program), ‘North Atlantic tectonic reconstructions’ 

1996 - 2000: Ph.D., University of Cambridge, Department of Earth Sciences, ‘Effect of the Iceland Plume on Cenozoic sedimentation patterns’ 

1993 - 1996: B.Sc., University of London, UK, Royal Holloway College, Geology 

1986 - 1993: Bury Grammar School


  • Petroleum Geoscience
  • Deep Earth-Climate Links

Postgraduate supervision

See Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences School website for PhD opportunities.

5 completed PhD research students.


Research cluster / group affiliation

  • Geosystems

Current / recent research

  • Measuring time-dependence in mantle convection, in particular the evolution of the Icelandic convective system and the effect of background convection on sedimentation patterns at passive continental margins
  • Relationships between the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum global climate change event, the North Atlantic Large Igneous Province and underlying Icelandic mantle convection system
  • Ridge-Plume interaction, particularly with regard to development of the Reykjanes V-Shaped Ridges and the Iceland Plateau
  • Links between the Icelandic mantle convection system, the Reykjanes V-Shaped Ridges and supply of Northern Component Water to the global ocean
  • Influence of mantle convective support and horizontal plate motions on hydrocarbon system development
  • Development of techniques to estimate oceanic variability and mixing from oil industry multichannel seismic data
  • Thermal and chemical modeling of proto-planetary bodies during the first few millions years of solar system evolution 


Recent publications

See a complete list of publications (PDF - 76KB)

Parnell-Turner RE, White NJ, Henstock TJ, Murton BJ, Maclennan J, Jones SM.  Architecture of North Atlantic contourite drifts controlled by the Iceland mantle plume.  G3 Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 16 (2015) 3414–3435, 10.1002/2015GC005947.

Jones SM, Murton BJ, Fitton JG, White NJ, Maclennan J, Walters RL.  A joint geochemical-geophysical record of time-dependent mantle convection south of Iceland.  Earth and Planetary Science Letters 386 (2014) 86–97, 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.09.029.

Walters RL, Jones SM, Maclennan J.  Renewed melting at the abandoned Húnafloí Rift, northern Iceland, caused by plume pulsing.  Earth and Planetary Science Letters 377–378 (2013) 227–238, 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.06.040.

Ferguson DJ, Maclennan J, Bastow ID, Pyle DM, Jones SM, Keir D, Blundy JD, Plank T, Yirgu G.  Melting during late-stage rifting in Afar is hot and deep.  Nature 499 (2013) 70–73, 10.1038/nature12292.

Jones SM, Lovell B, Crosby AG.  Comparison of Modern and Geological Observations of Dynamic Support from Mantle Convection.  Journal of the Geological Society, London 169 (2012) 745–758 10.1144/jgs2011-118.

Robinson MM, Valdes PJ, Haywood AM, Dowsett HJ, Hill DJ, Jones SM.  Bathymetric controls on Pliocene North Atlantic and Arctic sea surface temperature and deepwater production.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 309 (2011) 92–97, 10.1016/ j.palaeo.2011.01.004.

View all publications in research portal