Why Study Geology?
Geological Oceanography focuses on the study of marine sediments within an Earth system science context. It is concerned with sedimentary processes (the origin, transport and deposition of particles in the marine environment), and with marine sediments and rocks, in particular those formed in the past 2 million years, but also further back in time. It places emphasis on gaining skills and knowledge of direct relevance to the offshore survey and hydrocarbon industry.
Geological Oceanographers are required to tackle issues such as offshore site investigation related to renewable energy infrastructure and oil and gas exploration, climate and sea-level change, and coastal erosion. These are challenging and buoyant areas of development; there is currently a deficit of suitably qualified people for these roles. Upon graduation, you will not only have a deep understanding of the ‘earth system’, but you will also have a broad range of practical skills in sedimentology, geophysics and geotechnics. Data integration capabilities across these disciplines are in short supply within the offshore industry, but it is widely recognized by employers as being of great value.
Career Opportunities in Geology
We have been a leading institution for the study of marine geosciences for over 50 years, with students typically finding employment in the offshore renewable and hydrocarbons industries, geophysical contract companies (both offshore and terrestrial), geotechnical engineering companies, river and harbour boards and government establishments such as British Geological Survey and the British Antarctic Survey.
Our Research in Geology
Our focus is on the identification of processes which drive the fluxes across the shallow coastal seas leading to morphological change. We have developed new observational techniques which, coupled with theory and modelling, have enabled existing paradigms to be challenged, and new ideas developed.
Current research focuses on helping to improve understanding of how coastal sediment dynamics and budgets are affected by energetic storms, improving understanding of how biological substances stabilise the seabed, the fate of sediment in the coastal ocean and the impacts of the extraction of marine renewable energy on the ocean.
Further afield we have applied our geophysical surveying technics to the determination of the extent of British- Irish ice sheet during the last ice age, and its subsequent retreat.
We have also applied geophysical techniques to determine the extent and causes of climate change over the last 200 ka in East Africa to investigate links between palaeoclimate and human evolution and migration.