Abstract: Atlantic Rifted Margin Studies from the Edge: Geophysical Research at Memorial University


Located in Canada’s easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador, researchers at Memorial University are ideally positioned to undertake geophysical research along the country’s Atlantic margins where offshore exploration is still very much at the frontier stage, spurred on by world-class discoveries and production in the Jeanne d’Arc and surrounding basins. Building upon an established history of generating foundational knowledge of our offshore margins and petroliferous sedimentary basins, continued investment in and support of an evolving pool of faculty, researchers and students in geophysics, the future of geophysical education and research in the province looks bright. From the regional crustal scale, through the basin scale, to the reservoir scale, this article provides an overview of current efforts to better understand, characterize, and responsibly develop this very important section of Canada’s East Coast margins.


J. Kim Welford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she leads the Memorial Applied Geophysics for Rift Tectonics (MAGRiT) research group. She holds a B.Sc. in Planetary Sciences from McGill University (1997) and both an M.Sc. (2000) and a Ph.D. (2004) in Geophysics/Seismology from the University of British Columbia. Her research is focused on characterizing the basinal and crustal structure of the rifted continental margins of the North Atlantic and their tectonic evolution using seismic and potential field data.

Alison Malcolm is NSERC Chevron Industrial Research Chair in Reservoir Characterization at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She received her B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia and her Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines. Before coming to Memorial she was an Assistant Professor in the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research is at the border of geophysics and mathematics and she works on problems ranging from rock physics to seismic imaging, focussing on exploiting small signals to learn about subsurface fluids and fractures.

Colin Farquharson is a Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Colin obtained a B.Sc. in Geophysics from the University of Edinburgh in 1990 and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of British Columbia in 1995. Colin remained at UBC in postdoctoral and research associate positions before moving to MUN in 2005. His research interests are in computational techniques for geophysics, both forward modelling and inversion, particularly for electromagnetic methods.

Jeremy Hall is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Earth Sciences at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research in crustal seismology has involved projects around the UK, eastern Canada, central Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and Botswana. He studies the structural settings of sedimentary basins in both rifted margins (offshore eastern Canada) and active convergent plate margins (eastern Mediterranean). He has a B.A. (Physics) from the University of Oxford, a postgraduate diploma (DIC) in geophysics from Imperial College, London, and a PhD in Geology from the University of Glasgow. After working for Shell in the Netherlands, he spent 20 years on faculty in Geology at Glasgow University, before joining Memorial University in 1987.


Share your thoughts with us! Comments are moderated. Spam, inappropriate or abusive comments will be removed.