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The Drifters Research Group

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The Drifters Research Group

The Drifters Research Group - Department of Earth Sciences

Our main interest is on deep-water marine processes to assess the role of bottom-currents on sedimentation.

So far our research has focussed on:

  • Seismic characteristics on contourites
  • Sedimentologic and Ichnological characteristics of contourites
  • Modern processes immediately above the sea floor (the benthic boundary layer).
  • Mixed / Hybrid systems (turbidites + bottom current deposits)
  • Gateways & Paleoceanograhic changes
  • Numerical models
  • Bottom currents, contourites & geohazards

This group consists of 21 researchers including 4 staff, 5 post-doctoral researchers, 11 PhD students and 1 MRes student, as well as 25 direct collaborating researchers from other UK and overseas institutions and companies.

The group is developing successful research collaborations with other top-ranked research centers in the field in the UK, Europe and worldwide and has had significant and sustained impact on knowledge transfer in the discipline as well as through research projects and public engagements


Joint Industry Project (JIP)

Seismic recognition and sediment characterisation of deep-water contourites and reworked turbidites deposits

“The Drifters Research Group” routinely collaborate with high-profile industry partners who fund much of our cutting-edge work. Currently, we are leading a Joint Industry Project (JIP) about Contourites between academia and industry on the characterisation of deep-water sandy deposits funded by a consortium of companies for the period 2017-2020.

This JIP seeks to bring existing knowledge and relevance of contourite systems firmly into the industrial domain, as well as to further fill the scientific gaps in our knowledge and improve understanding. We consider this as an essential ingredient for any company working in deep-water.

  • Launch date: End of 2017.
  • End date: 2020

Funded by TOTAL, ENI, BP, ExxonMobil, Wintershall and Spectrum/TGS

The JIP is open for new companies. Please contact us if you are interested.

Group link for data sharing.



INPULSE is studying how Mediterranean Outflow Water (MOW) is affecting the seafloor, bedforms, type of substrate and associate habitats in the Gulf of Cadiz.

Download the interactive PDF here.

Project SCORE

SCORE is searching the sedimentary facies in sandy deposits drilled in the IODP 339 in the Gulf of Cadiz

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