U.K. nationals: Hybrid event beds in confined basins - PhD via FindAPhD

University of Leeds

Leeds, UK 🇬🇧

About the Project

Hybrid event beds in confined basins 

Supervisors: Dr. Adam McArthur (Leeds), Dr. Lawrence Amy (UCD), Prof. David Hodgson (Leeds),   Dr. Mattia Marini (Milan), Dr. Marco Patacci (Leeds) 

A PhD studentship to be run under the auspices of the Turbidites Research Group (TRG) in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds 

Start date: October 2022 (subject to funding) 


  • Opportunity to undertake field, laboratory and subsurface investigation of stunning datasets from France, and the subsurface of the Gulf of Mexico. 
  • Join an integrated research group, with links to international researchers and industry. 
  • Attend international conferences in Europe, the US and elsewhere. 
  • Project sits alongside linked research as part of a larger research programme. 
  • Opportunities for career development (academia, internships, industry and beyond). 

The depositional record of longitudinal transformations of particulate gravity flows, hybrid event beds, is one of the major recent advances in deep-water sedimentology (Haughton et al. 2003; 2009). Their formation (Baas et al. 2011), bed properties (Hussain et al. 2021), and distribution in relatively unconfined settings are now well understood (e.g., Kane & Pontén 2012; Spychala et al. 2017; Fonnesu et al. 2018). However, their occurrence in confined basins is less well documented (Patacci et al. 2014; Southern et al. 2015). The primary objective of this project is to examine the stratigraphic occurrence of hybrid event beds in confined deep-marine basins, to understand how their occurrence relates to the evolution of both the flows and the basin topography.  

This project will help develop our fundamental understanding of how deep-water sedimentary processes respond to confinement. The project will also help develop an applied understanding of the fill and rock properties of hybrid beds in confined basins, which are hosts of conventional resources (e.g., Kane & Ponten, 2012), sinks of organic carbon (e.g., Hussain et al. 2021), and potential hosts of man-made pollutants (e.g., Kane et al. 2020). This project will benefit from field studies in the famous Peïra Cava Basin, SE France; decades of prior studies by the wider research team provide a rigorous stratigraphic framework for the study (Amy et al. 2007; McArthur et al. 2016). Additionally the study may exploit subsurface data of confined basin-fills from the Gulf of Mexico, including seismic, well, and core data, to characterise the occurrence of hybrid beds in subsurface architecture. 

For further information and how to apply, please visit:


Funding Notes

Funding is provided by the Turbidites Research Group (www.trg.leeds.ac.uk). Full fees, maintenance and project costs will be covered. Self-funded or other means of funding are also welcome. 


Amy, L. A., Kneller, B. C. and McCaffrey, W. D. (2007). Facies architecture of the Gres de Peira Cava, SE France: landward stacking patterns in ponded turbiditic basins. Journal of the Geological Society 164: 143-162. http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/0016-76492005-019
Baas, J. H., Best, J. L. and Peakall, J. (2011). Depositional processes, bedform development and hybrid bed formation in rapidly decelerated cohesive (mud-sand) sediment flows. Sedimentology 58(7): 1953-1987. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3091.2011.01247.x
Fonnesu, M., Felletti, F., Haughton, P. D. W., Patacci, M. and McCaffrey, W. D. (2018). Hybrid event bed character and distribution linked to turbidite system sub-environments: The North Apennine Gottero Sandstone (north-west Italy). Sedimentology 65(1): 151-190. https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.12376
Haughton, P. D. W., Barker, S. P. and McCaffrey, W. D. (2003). ‘Linked’ debrites in sand-rich turbidite systems; origin and significance. Sedimentology 50(3): 459-482. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3091.2003.00560.x
Haughton, P. D. W., Davis, C., McCaffrey, W. D. and Barker, S. (2009). Hybrid sediment gravity flow deposits – Classification, origin and significance. Marine and Petroleum Geology 26(10): 1900-1918. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.02.012
Hussain, A., Haughton, P. D. W., Shannon, P. M., Morris, E. A., Pierce, C. S. and Omma, J. E. (2021). Mud-forced turbulence dampening facilitates rapid burial and enhanced preservation of terrestrial organic matter in deep-sea environments. Marine and Petroleum Geology 130: 105101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2021.105101
Kane, I. A. and Ponten, A. S. M. (2012). Submarine transitional flow deposits in the Paleogene Gulf of Mexico. Geology 40(12): 1119-1122. https://doi.org/10.1130/G33410.1
Kane, I. A., Clare, M. A., Miramontes, E., Wogelius, R., Rothwell, J. J., Garreau, P. and Pohl, F. (2020). Seafloor microplastic hotspots controlled by deep-sea circulation. Science 368(6495): 1140-1145. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aba5899
McArthur, A. D., Kneller, B. C., Wakefield, M. I., Souza, P. A. and Kuchle, J. (2016). Palynofacies classification of the depositional elements of confined turbidite systems: Examples from the Gres d’Annot, SE France. Marine and Petroleum Geology 77: 1254-1273. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.08.020
Patacci, M., Haughton, P. D. W. and McCaffrey, W. D. (2014). Rheological complexity in sediment gravity flows forced to decelerate against a confining slope, Braux, SE France. Journal of Sedimentary Research 84(4): 270-277. https://doi.org/10.2110/jsr.2014.26
Southern, S. J., Patacci, M., Felletti, F. and McCaffrey, W. D. (2015). Influence of flow containment and substrate entrainment upon sandy hybrid event beds containing a co-genetic mud-clast-rich division. Sedimentary Geology 321: 105-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2015.03.006
Spychala, Y. T., Hodgson, D. M., Prelat, A., Kane, I. A., Flint, S. S. and Mountney, N. P. (2017). Frontal and Lateral Submarine Lobe Fringes: Comparing Sedimentary Facies, Architecture and Flow Processes. Journal of Sedimentary Research 87(1): 75-96. https://doi.org/10.2110/jsr.2017.2