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Astrid Ruiter


PhD student

Room Number: Murchison House, British Geological Survey, Edinburgh


PhD working title
Glaciotectonics of the Dogger Bank


  • Dr Simon Carr, School of Geography, QMUL
  • Dr Emrys Phillips, British Geological Survey, Edinburgh
  • Dr Carol Cotteril, British Geological Survey, Edinburgh

Research Outline
The margins of former ice sheets are often marked by thick sequences of sediments formed through the complex interplay between processes of sedimentation and glacier-induced deformation. Understanding these processes is critical to deciphering the stratigraphic record of Quaternary glaciation, but also provides an important proxy for ice sheet dynamics through the influence of advance/retreat phases on sediment supply and deformation. However, our understanding of the relationships between, and factors controlling sedimentation and deformation at former ice sheet margins, such as the British and Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) is relatively limited. For example, the location of the southern margin of the BIIS within the southern North Sea was, until recently, poorly constrained. The acquisition of previously unavailable high-quality seismic data for the Dogger Bank Round 3 windfarm zone in the Southern North Sea provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight into the nature and evolution of this former ice sheet margin. This collaborative project between BGS and QMUL utilises internationally-recognised expertise in the analysis and interpretation of glacially deformed sediments, especially within the context of understanding the evolution of the last ice sheets to encroach on the North Sea Basin. The project will utilise a combination of detailed seismic interpretation, sedimentological and structural analysis and is proposed to erect a reliable lithostratigraphy for the glacial sequence in the Dogger Bank project area, establishing a relative chronology for both the deposition of the main sedimentary units and development of the large-scale glacitectonic deformation structures identified within the seismic profiles. This will provide a glacitectonic and depositional framework from which to model the spatial and temporal changes of the BIIS in Dogger Bank area during the Devensian.


  • Queen Mary University of London
  • British Geological Survey

My background
MSc Quaternary Geology and Climate Change - Utrecht University, the Netherlands

            With focus on glaciology and permafrost & periglacial processes (partly at UNIS, Svalbard)

            Thesis subject: Relict Pingos and Permafrost

BSc Earth Sciences - Utrecht University, the Netherlands

            With focus on cold climate environment (partly at University of Oslo, Norway)



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