Adam Beresford-Browne

University of Birmingham


Stratigraphy and Emplacement of the Antrim Lava Plateau


Dr Carl Stevenson & Dr Sebastian Watt

PhD Summary

Brief summary of PhD project: The key aims of this work are: • To develop a detailed model of the stratigraphy and emplacement of the Antrim lavas within the setting of the North Atlantic Igneous Province; • To investigate effusive eruption rates and magma productivity during episodes of continental rifting, including correlation with distal volcanosedimentary units; • To explore the progression of basaltic volcanism during North Atlantic rifting on kiloyear timescales; and • To develop a methodological framework, including chemostratigraphic, petrological and magnetic methods for correlation of lava units. Through this detailed work we aim to develop a superior understanding of the stratigraphic and spatial heterogeneity of the Antrim lava group including observations on aquifer and aquitard horizons, with a view to their sustainable exploitation for commercial extractions of aggregates, minerals, groundwater, etc.

What inspires you?

I have always been fascinated by the universe and particularly our small piece of it, the Earth. Like most kids I was into volcanoes, dinosaurs and the solar system, and this fascination was rekindled while living in Donegal, Ireland; a magical place where complex geology forms stunning landscapes and coastlines.

Previous Activity

After reading a Masters in Hydrogeology at the University of Reading I worked on contaminated land remediation projects for an international environmental consultancy first in Dublin and then in Cardiff and Bristol. After 2 years I switched focus to potable groundwater and spent 15 years working in 24 countries on groundwater quantity and quality issues. Over the last 2 years I have been working on engineering hydrogeological issues for an international design and build consultancy.

Why did you choose Docotoral Research?

For three reasons: the first being that I love studying geology for its own sake and to further the understanding of our planet; the second is to have access to exciting post-doctoral research opportunities. The third reason is that the lecturers with whom I identified most had spent time working in industry before coming to teach at university. If I have the opportunity to become a lecturer, I would like to be that kind!

Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?

Drs Stevenson and Watt had already linked the project to the CENTA studentship scheme. I am delighted to become a part of this amazingly supportive and inclusive scientific community.

What are your future plans

As previously mentioned, I would like to explore the possibilities of post-doctoral research and lectureship. Working at the University of Birmingham as a CENTA doctoral researcher has given me a fantastic opportunity to realise these dreams.