Robert Leslie Gawthorpe's picture

Robert Leslie Gawthorpe

Professor, VISTA Professor
  • 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
    2G11c - 2150a
  • 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 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 Research Council of Norway funded SynRift Systems project, and a range of subsurface- and outcrop-based projects investigating the links between tectonics, landscape and sedimentation.  He was appointed VISTA Professor in January 2018.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS - for a full list of publication see CV


Bell, R.E., Duclaux, G. Nixon, C.W., Gawthorpe, R.L. and McNeill, L.C. (2017) High-angle, not low-angle, normal faults dominate early rift extension in the Corinth Rift, central Greece.  Geology, doi.org/10.1130/G39560.1


Khel, C., Buckley, S.J., Viseur, S., Gawthorpe, R.L., Mullins, J.R. AND Howell, J.A. (2017) Mapping field photographys to textured meshes directly on mobile devices. Photogrammetric Record, 32, 398-423.  DOI: 10.1111/phor.12213


Deng, C., Gawthorpe, R.L., Finch, E. and Fossen, H. (2017)  Influence of pre-existing basement weakness on normal fault growth during oblique extension: Insights from discrete element modeling.  Journal of Structural Geology, 105, 44-61.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2017.11.005


Gawthorpe, R.L., Andrews, J.E., Collier, R.E.L., Ford, M., Leeder, M.R., Henstra, G., Haralambos, K. and Skourtsos, E. (2017)  Building up or out? disparate sequence architectures along an active rift margin—Corinth rift, Greece. Geology. https:// doi.org/10 .1130/G39660.1


Ge, Z., Nemec W., Gawthorpe, R.L., Rotevatn, A. and Hansen, E.W.M. (2017) Response of unconfined turbidity current to relay-ramp topography: insights from process-based numerical modeling.  Basin Research, DOI: 10.1111/bre.12255


Pechlivanidou S., Cowie, P.A., Hannisdal, B., Whittaker, A.C., Gawthorpe, R.L., Pennos C. and Riiser O.S. (2017).  Source-to-sink analysis in an active extensional setting: Holocene erosion and deposition in the Sperchios rift, central Greece. Basin Research.  doi:10.1111/bre.12263


Deng, C., Fossen, H., Gawthorpe, R.L., Rotevatn, A., Jackson, C. A-L. and Fazlikhani,H. (2017)  Influence of fault reactivation during multiphase rifting: the Oseberg area, northern North Sea rift.  Marine and Petroleum Geology, 86, 1252-1272. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2017.07.025


Gawthorpe, R.L., Leeder, M.R., Haralambos, K., Skourtsos, E., Andrews, J.E., Henstra, G.A., Mack, G., Muravchick, M., Turner, J. and Stamatakis, M. (2017)  Tectono-sedimentary evolution of the Plio-Pleistocene Corinth rift, Greece, Basin Research, DOI: 10.1111/bre.12260.


Korneva, I., Basteson, E., Corlett, H., Eker, A., Hirani, J., Hollis, C., Gawthorpe, R.L., Rotevatn, A. and Taylor, R. (2017)  The effects of dolomitization on petrophysical properties and fracture distribution within rift-related carbonates (Hammam Faraun Fault Block, Suez Rift, Egypt).  Journal of Structural Geology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsg.2017.06.005


Kristensen, T.B., Rotevatn, A., Marvik, M., Henstra, G.A., Gawthorpe, R.L. and Ravnås, R. (2017)  structural evolution of sheared margin basins: The role of strain partitioning.  Sørvestsnaget Basin, Norwegian Barents Sea.  Basin Research, doi: 10.1111/bre.12253


Hemelsdael, R., Ford, M., Malatre, F. and Gawthorpe, R.L. (2017)  Interaction of an antecedent fluvial system with early normal fault growth: implications for syn-rift stratigraphy, western Corinth rift (Greece).  Sedimentology, DOI: 10.1111/sed.12381


Hollis, C., Basteson, E., Boyce, A., Corlett, H., Gawthorpe, R., Hirani, J., Rotevatn, A. and Whitaker, F. (2017)  Fault-controlled dolomitization in a rift basin.  Geology, DOI: 10.1130/G38394.1


Claringbould, J.S., Bell, R.E., Jackson, C. A-L., Gawthorpe, R.L. and Odinsen, T. (2017) Pre-existing normal faults have limited control on the rift geometry ofthenorthern North Sea.  Earth and Planetary Science Letters, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.07.014


Finch, E. and Gawthorpe, R.L. (2017)  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, https://doi.org/10.1144/SP439.23


Duffy, O.B., Nixon, C.W., Bell, R.E., Jackson, C. A-L., Gawthorpe, R.L., Sanderson, D.J. and Whipp, P.S. (2017) The topology of evolving rift fault networks: Single-phase vs multi-phase rifts.  Journal of Structural Geology, 80, 96, 192-202.


Fazlikhani, H., Fossen, H., Gawthorpe, R.L., Faleide, J.I. and Bell, R.E. (2017)  Basement structure and its influence on the structural configuration of the northern North Sea Rift.  Tectonics, 36, 11511177, doi:10.1002/2017TC004514


Khel, C., Buckley, S.J., Viseur, S., Gawthorpe, R.L. and Howell, J.A. (2017) Automatic illumination-invariant image-to-geometry registration in outdoor environments. The Photogrammetric Record, 32, 93-118, DOI: 10.1111/phor.12188

2017–        NFR PETROMAKS 2  (14m NOK)
Source-to-Sink infill dynamics of the Lower Mesozoic Greater Barents Sea Basin (ISBAR)
Co-investigator with Helland-Hansen et al.


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