Higher Degree by Research Application Portal

TitleShelf-to-basin sediment transfer mechanisms in contrasted tectonic and climatic settings: Insights from quantitative 3D seismic stratigraphy and geomorphology
SupervisorDr Victorien Paumard
Prof Simon Lang
Prof Annette George
KeywordsBasin Analysis
Seismic Stratigraphy
Seismic Geomorphology
Sequence Stratigraphy
Research areaEarth Sciences
Project description

With ~15% of siliciclastic reservoirs located within deep-water basins, a key challenge is to predict when and where sands are bypassed to deep-water areas, and how they are architecturally organized. Quantitative 3D seismic stratigraphy (QSS) aims at investigating the linkages (quantified relationships) between hydrodynamic regime along paleoshorelines, shelf-margin architecture and the development of coeval deep-water systems in a variety of tectonic and climatic settings. As part of QSS, innovative 3D full-volume seismic interpretation and seismic geomorphology workflows were developed using high-quality and extensive 3D seismic datasets. Quantitative measures of shelf-margin clinoforms and clinothems, using a consistent approach, helped to better understated shelf-to-basin sediment transfer mechanisms and their variability. To date, 11 case studies from around the globe have been integrated. The scope of this project is to deploy the QSS workflow on new shelf margins. The database will be expanded, using both existing and new 3D seismic datasets and associated well data.

This project will also focus on detailed quantitative seismic geomorphological characterization of specific depositional elements along shelf margins, from fluvio-deltaic and shallow-marine systems to deep-water canyons, mass-transport complexes and turbidite systems. Applications to carbonate depositional environments will also be explored. Morphometrics and quantitative analysis will help determine key depositional controls that will help predict lithology and facies. This project has economic implications for the energy industry by providing a more advanced understanding of shelf-to-basin sediment transfer mechanisms, as well as advancing knowledge on the role of allogenic and autogenic controls on the evolution of shelf margins and their variability through time and space, in both siliciclastic and carbonate depositional systems.

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 Dr. Victorien (UWA) and co-supervisors are Prof. Simon Lang (UWA) and Prof. Annette George (UWA). Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Victorien Paumard at victorien.paumard@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 basin analysis. Candidates must have the ability to work both as part of a multidisciplinary team and independently. Previous experience with the interpretation of 2D and 3D seismic data is preferred. Fundamental knowledge of the principles of seismic stratigraphy and seismic geomorphology, as well as knowledge is sequence stratigraphy and source-to-sink systems is also expected. Ability to organize work and advanced communication skills in English (oral and written) are also essential.

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.