Higher Degree by Research Application Portal

TitleDryland fluvial-coastal deltaic depositional systems of Western Australia
SupervisorProf Simon Lang
Dr Victorien Paumard
Prof Annette George
Sequence Stratigraphy
Research areaEarth Sciences
Project description

The project will focus on modern dryland fluvial-coastal-deltaic depositional systems of Western Australia integrating remote sensing datasets (e.g., satellite imagery, high resolution airborne LiDAR, ultra-high resolution drone data, ground penetrating radar, shallow seismic data) with surficial sediment sampling and shallow core data. The research will expand on workflows developed by the Quantitative Reservoir Analogues project (QRA) that is focused on facies mapping of depositional element and element complex scales using the relative process-dominance approach (WAVE process-based classification) for wave, tidal and fluvial processes. Based on recognition of litho-/depo-facies and key surfaces from these datasets, the principles of sedimentology, stratigraphy and geomorphology will be applied to: (1) determine the variation in sedimentary facies thickness, texture, and composition to improve understanding of heterogeneity and juxtaposition of elements/element complexes at the ‘subsurface reservoir scale’; (2) reconstruct the controls on landscape evolution and changing coastal-deltaic depositional environments since the last glacial maximum (LGM); and (3) determine the implications of Holocene coastal progradation in wave- vs tide-dominated conditions including the future potential impact of rising sea level on preservation and connectivity of reservoir and sealing facies. It is expected that this multi-disciplinary project will have practical implications by providing a more advanced understanding of reservoir geometry and heterogeneity for ancient coastal-deltaic systems. A quantitative approach is expected and results will be integrated in a GIS database from which key metrics and concepts can be deployed directly into reservoir modelling for hydrocarbon exploration, development and production, subsurface carbon-sequestration, and groundwater management.

Opportunity statusOpen
Open date15 Feb 2024
Close date04 Aug 2024
Funding source

Centre for Energy and Climate Geoscience

SchoolSchool of Earth Sciences

This interdisciplinary project is hosted by the School of Earth Sciences. Principal supervisor is Prof. Simon Lang (UWA) and co-supervisors are Dr. Victorien Paumard (UWA) and Prof. Annette George (UWA). Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Prof. Simon Lang at simon.lang@uwa.edu.au for more information. Please include a cover letter describing your interest in the field, CV, publications, academic transcripts, relevant supporting documents of prior research, and the names and contact details of two potential referees.

Specific project requirement

Prospective candidates should have a Masters or Honours degree (first class or equivalent) in geoscience with advanced knowledge and skills in stratigraphy, sedimentology and geomorphology. Candidates must have the ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team and good written and oral communication skills. Previous field-based experience in modern depositional environments and a demonstrated advanced capability in the use of GIS (e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS) are preferred. The candidate should be organised, dynamic, curious and able to work in remote field areas.

Course typeDoctorates
Duration4 years


Students intending to undertake a dissertation or thesis as part of a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) course at The University of Western Australia, are required to have acquired adequate research preparation, prior to being admitted into a course.

The University's Adequate Research Preparation Policy (UP11/25) details this requirement.

The policy broadly states:

  • An applicant is normally considered to have fulfilled the requirements for admission to a HDR course if they can demonstrate that they have undertaken supervised individual research in which they have designed and conducted a scholarly investigation in the context of an existing body of knowledge.
  • In exceptional circumstances, consideration may be given to applicants whose qualifications do not meet the definitions of adequate research preparation outlined in the policy (clause 4.1), where the school/supervisor believes that the applicant is likely to succeed in the course. In these circumstances, admission may be granted to a Masters Degree by Research in the first instance.