Robert Gawthorpe's picture

Robert Gawthorpe

  • E-mailRob.Gawthorpe@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 34 38+47 453 92 790
  • Visitor Address
    Department of Earth Science
    Realfagbygget, Allégaten 41
    5007 BERGEN
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7803
    5020 Bergen

Rob Gawthorpe joined the department in July 2010 as Professor of Petroleum Geoscience.  He was previously Professor of Sedimentology and Tectonics, where he established and was head of the Basin Studies and Petroleum Geoscience Group at the University of Manchester.


Rob's research is wide-ranging, integrating geomorphology, sedimentology, stratigraphy and tectonics to study tectonically-active landscapes and sedimentary basin evolution.  One of his major research areas is sedimentation and tectonics in rift basins, including the role of fault growth and linkage in controlling rift topography and syn-rift stratigraphy.  His research also tackles sequence stratigraphic concepts, for example, controls on the 3D variability of basin margin sequences and the role of sea-level rise and fall in early diagenetic modification (cementation and leaching).  These research areas utilize both outcrop and subsurface data and are important for reservoir characterization and the development of exploration concepts. 


At UiB he has established a 3D seismic and digital outcrop laboratory that has a suite of over 20 research workstations configured for interpreting large 3D seismic surveys and digital outcrop datasets.  The laboratory is house in two rooms on the 2nd floor of Realfagbygget and is used by masters, PhDs and postdoctoral researchers.


Rob’s current research includes the Norwegian Research Council funded MultiRift project (http://org.uib.no/multirift/about.html), and a range of subsurface- and outcrop-based projects investigating the links between tectonics, landscape and sedimentation 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS - for a full list of publication see CV

126    FINCH, E. AND GAWTHORPE, R.L. (2016)  Growth and interaction of normal faults and fault network evolution in rifts: insights from three dimensional discrete element modelling.  In: Childs, C., Holdsworth, R. E., Jackson, C. A.-L., Manzocchi, T., Walsh, J. J. & Yielding, G. (eds) The Geometry and Growth of Normal Faults. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 439, resubmitted.

125    GE, Z., NEMEC, W., GAWTHORPE, R.L. AND HANSEN, E.W.M. (2016)  Response of unconfined turbidity current to normal-fault topography. Sedimentology, accepted for publication.

124    GE, Z., GAWTHORPE, R.L., ROTEVATN, A. AND THOMAS, M.B. (2016)  Impact of normal faulting and pre-rift salt tectonics on the structural style of salt-influenced rifts: The Late Jurassic Norwegian Central Graben, North Sea. Basin Research, accepted for publication.

123    WHIPP, P.S., JACKSON, C. A-L., SCHLISHE, R.W., WITHJACK, M.O. AND GAWTHORPE, R.L. (2016)  Spatial distribution and evolution of fault-segment boundary types in rift systems: observations from experimental clay models.  In: Childs, C., Holdsworth, R. E., Jackson, C. A.-L., Manzocchi, T., Walsh, J. J. & Yielding, G. (eds) The Geometry and Growth of Normal Faults. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 439, http://doi.org/10.1144/SP439.7

122    HENSTRA, G.A., GAWTHORPE, R.L., HELLAND-HANSEN, W., RAVNAS, R., AND ROTEVATN, A. (2016)  Depositional systems in multiphase rifts: seismic case study from the Lofoten margin, Norway.  Basin Research, doi: 10.1111/bre.12183

121    NIXON, C.W., McNEIL, L.C., BULL, J.M., BELL, R.E., GAWTHORPE, R.L. et al. (2016), Rapid spatiotemporal variations in rift structure during development of the Corinth Rift, central Greece, Tectonics, 35, 1225-1248. doi:10.1002/2015TC004026.

120    ELLIOTT, G.M., WILSON, P., JACKSON, C. A-L., GAWTHORPE, R.L., MICHELSEN, L. AND SHARP, I.R. (2015)  Late syn-rift evolution of the Vingleia Fault Complex, HaltenTerrace, offshore Mid-Norway; a test of rift basin tectono-stratigraphic models.  Basin Research, doi: 10.1111/bre.12158

119    LEWIS, M.M., JACKSON, C.A-L. AND GAWTHORPE, R.L. (2015)  Tectono-sedimentary development of early syn-rift deposits: The Abura Graben, Suez Rift, Egypt.  Basin Research, doi: 10.1111/bre.12151

118    NGOC LE, A., HUUSE, M., REDFERN, J., GAWTHORPE, R.L. AND IRVING, D. (2015)  Seismic characterization of a Bottom Simulating Reflection (BSR) and plumbing system of the Cameroon margin, offshore West Africa.  Marine and Petroleum Geology, 68, 629-647.

117    DUFFY, O.B., BELL, R.E., JACKSON, C. A-L., GAWTHORPE, R.L., AND WHIPP, P.S.  (2015) Fault Growth and interactions in a multiphase rift fault network:  Horda Platform, Norwegian North Sea. Journal of Structural Geology, 80, 99-119.

116    WILSON, P., ELLIOTT, G.M., GAWTHORPE, R.L., JACKSON, C. A-L., MICHELSEN, L. AND SHARP, I.R. (2015)  Lateral variation in structural style along an evaporite-influenced rift fault system in the Halten Terrace, Norway: Influence of basement structure and evaporite facies.  Journal of Structural Geology, 79, 101-123.

115    LEWIS, M.M., JACKSON, C.A-L., GAWTHORPE, R.L. AND WHIPP, P.S. (2015)  Early synrift reservoir development on the flanks of extensional forced folds: A seismic-scale outcrop analog from the Hadahid fault system, Suez Rift, Egypt.  American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 99, 985-1012.

114    HENSTRA, G.A., ROTEVATN, A., GAWTHORPE, R.L. AND RAVNAS, R. (2015)  Evolution of a major segmented normal fault during multiphase rifting: The origin of plan-view zigzag geometry.  Journal of Structural Geology, 74, 45-63.

113    KLAUSEN, T.G., RYSETH, A.E., HELLAND-HANSEN, W., GAWTHORPE, R.L. AND LAURSEN, I. (2015)  Regional development and sequence stratigraphy of the Middle to Late Triassic Snadd Formation, Norwegian Barents Sea.  Marine and Petroleum Geology, 62, 102-122.

112    DUFFY, O.B., BROCKLEHURST, S.H., GAWTHORPE, R.L., LEEDER, M.R. AND FINCH, E. (2015)  Controls on landscape and drainage evolution in regions of distributed normal faulting: Perachora Peninsula, Corinth Rift, Central Greece.  Basin Research, 27, 473-494.

Publications in national current research information system (CRIStin)

2016–        VISTA (3m NOK)
Basement structure and Permo-Triassic rifting, Northern North Sea
Principal investigator with Fossen


2016–        NFR PETROMAKS 2 (31m NOK)
Syn-Rift Systems
Principal investigator with collaborators at Athens, Bergen, East Anglia, Leeds and Loraine


2016–        Statoil (3.8m NOK)
Spatial-temporal reconstruction of basin fills
Co-investigator with Helland-Hansen


2016–        Statoil (6.8m NOK)
Turbidites, tectonics and topography (T3)
Principal investigator


2015–        VISTA (2.6m NOK)
Fault network topology
Principal investigator


2015–        Industry consortium (£450k)
Prediction of Deposition, Deformation and Diagenesis in carbonates (PD3)
Co-investigator with collaborators at Bergen, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester


2013–        NFR (6m NOK)
VOM2MPS (Petromaks)
Co-investigator with Buckley and Howell (Aberdeen)


2013–        Shell norge (3.7m NOK)
Tectono-sedimentary evolution: Western Barents Sea
Co-investigator with Rotevatn and Helland-Hansen


2012–        NFR PETROMAKS (24m NOK)
Principal investigator with collaborators at Bergen, Imperial College, Manchester and Oslo