Project Title

Controls on and consequences of punctuated passive margin subsidence and structural inversion along Atlantic conjugate margins


The evolution of passive margins has typically been understood by a standard rift-drift model in which active tectonism ceases after continental breakup and formation of oceanic crust and the margin enters a phase of prolonged thermal sag. However, acquisition of seismic data along the Atlantic passive continental margin has permitted closer examination of the stratigraphic relationships within the post-rift section and found anomalous periods of deformation which do not fit the model of passive subsidence.

The overall aim of the project is to understand these periods of deformation and place them in their regional context. The project will use subsurface seismic and well data from strategic areas of the western Atlantic margin such as offshore Namibia and South Africa to understand the intra-plate effects of Atlantic rifting through time and examine the impacts this deformation has on both the geological evolution of the margin and the relevant petroleum systems.


Professor John Underhill and Dr Rachel Jamieson