School of Earth and Environment

Derek Fairhead Prof Derek Fairhead

Managing Director: GETECH; Emeritus Professor of Applied Geophysics

Telephone number: 0113 322 2200
Room: GETECH Group plc

Affiliation: Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics



Did Joint Honours in Physics and Geology at Durham and an MSc and PhD in Geophysics at Newcastle on the seismicity of Africa and the crustal structure of the East African Rift System based on gravity data. He now heads GETECH (Geophysical Exploration Technology), a division of the University of Leeds Industrial Services Ltd. a wholly University owned company to provide the oil and mineral industries with continental gravity and aeromagnetic database products for enhancing their exploration activities. His main academic interests lie in Applied Geophysics: geological and geophysical controls on sedimentary basin development within and along the margins of the continents; and crust/mantle processes related to: rifting and break-up of continents and the influence that plate tectonics has on continental tectonics. This involves the integration of gravity, magnetic and seismic data.

Research Interests

  • Rifting and basin formation
  • gravity and magnetic compilations and interpretations


  • Stone VCA; Fairhead JD; Oterdoom WH (2016) Micromagnetic seep detection in the Sudan, The Leading Edge, 23, pp.734-737. doi: 10.1190/1.1786893
  • Salem A; Green C; Ravat D; Singh KH; East P; Fairhead JD; Mogren S; Biegert E (2014) Depth to Curie temperature across the central Red Sea from magnetic data using the de-fractal method, Tectonophysics, 624-625, pp.75-86. doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2014.04.027
  • Fairhead JD; Salem A; Cascone L; Hammill M; Masterton S; Samson E (2011) New developments of the magnetic tilt-depth method to improve structural mapping of sedimentary basins, Geophysical Prospecting, 59, pp.1072-1086. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2478.2011.01001.x
  • Salem A; Lei KX; Green C; Fairhead JD; Stanley G (2010) Removal of cultural noise from high-resolution aeromagnetic data using a two stage equivalent source approach, EXPLOR GEOPHYS, 41, pp.163-169. doi: 10.1071/EG09047
  • Fletcher KMU; Fairhead JD; Lei K; Salem ASK; Ayala C; Cabanillas PLM (2010) Generation of a New High Resolution Magnetic Database for Europe for Resource Evaluation - Progress Report, 72nd European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2010: A New Spring for Geoscience. Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2010, 1, pp.782-786.
  • Salem ASK; Fairhead JD; Aboud E (2010) Extended tilt depth - A fast depth imaging method using local wavenumbers of magnetic data, 72nd European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2010: A New Spring for Geoscience. Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2010, 1, pp.787-791.
  • Maus S; Barckhausen U; Berkenbosch H; Bournas N; Brozena J; Childers V; Dostaler F; Fairhead JD; Finn C; von Frese RRB; Gaina C; Golynsky S; Kucks R; Luhr H; Milligan P; Mogren S; Muller RD; Olesen O; Pilkington M; Saltus R; Schreckenberger B; Thebault E; Tontini FC (2009) EMAG2: A 2-arc min resolution Earth Magnetic Anomaly Grid compiled from satellite, airborne, and marine magnetic measurements, GEOCHEM GEOPHY GEOSY, 10, . doi: 10.1029/2009GC002471
  • Daho SAB; Mendas A; Fairhead JD; Derkaoui A (2009) Impact of the new GRACE Geopotential Model and SRTM data on the geoid modelling in Algeria, J GEODYN, 47, pp.63-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jog.2008.07.006
  • Fairhead JD; Williams SE; Fletcher KMU; Green CM; Vincent K (2009) Trident - A new satellite gravity model for the oceans, 71st European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2009: Balancing Global Resources. Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2009, 2, pp.853-857.
  • Daho SAB; Fairhead JD; Zeggai A; Ghezali B; Derkaoui A; Gourine B; Khelifa S (2008) New investigation on the choice of the tailored geopotential model for Algeria, J GEODYN, 45, pp.154-162. doi: 10.1016/j.jog.2007.10.002
  • Salem A; Williams S; Fairhead JD; Smith R; Ravat D (2008) Interpretation of magnetic data using tilt angle derivatives, Geophysics, 73, pp.L1-L10. doi: 10.1190/1.2799992
  • Fairhead JD; Salem A; Williams S; Samson E (2008) Magnetic interpretation made easy: The Tilt-depth-dip-ΔK method, SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts, 27, pp.779-783. doi: 10.1190/1.3063761
  • Maus S; Sazonova T; Hemant K; Fairhead JD; Ravat D (2007) National Geophysical Data Center candidate for the World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map, GEOCHEM GEOPHY GEOSY, 8, . doi: 10.1029/2007GC001643
  • Daho SAB; Fairhead JD (2007) Accuracy assessment of the available geoid models in Algeria, COMPUT GEOSCI-UK, 33, pp.76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2006.05.009
  • Salem A; Williams S; Fairhead JD; Ravat D; Smith R (2007) Tilt-depth method: a simple depth estimation method using first-order magnetic derivatives, The Leading Edge, pp.1502-1505.
  • Fairhead JD; Bournas N; Raddadi MC (2007) The role of gravity and aeromagnetic data in mapping mega Gondwana crustal lineaments: The Argentina-Brazil-Algeria (ABA) lineament, SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts, 26, pp.723-727. doi: 10.1190/1.2792516
  • Korhonen J; Fairhead JD; Hamoudi M; Hemant K; Lesur V; Mandea M; Maus S; Purucker M; Ravat D; Sazonova T; Thebault E (2007) Magnetic Anomaly Map of the World, Scale 1:50 000 000, .
  • Daho SAB; Kahlouche S; Fairhead JD (2006) A procedure for modelling the differences between the gravimetric geoid model and GPS/levelling data with an example in the north part of Algeria, COMPUT GEOSCI-UK, 32, pp.1733-1745. doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2006.04.003
  • Fairhead JD; Williams SE (2006) Evaluating normalized magnetic derivatives for structural mapping, SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts, 25, pp.845-849. doi: 10.1190/1.2370388
  • Bansal AR; Fairhead JD; Green CM; Fletcher KMU (2005) Revised gravity for offshore India and the isostatic compensation of submarine features, TECTONOPHYSICS, 404, pp.1-22. doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2005.03.017
  • Williams SE; Fairhead JD; Flanagan G (2005) Comparison of grid Euler deconvolution with and without 2D constraints using a realistic 3D magnetic basement model, GEOPHYSICS, 70, pp.L13-L21.
  • Eagles G; Livermore RA; Fairhead JD; Morris P (2005) Tectonic evolution of the west Scotia Sea, J GEOPHYS RES-SOL EA, 110, . doi: 10.1029/2004JB003154
  • Fairhead JD (2005) The current role and use of potential field satellites in oil and mineral exploration, 67th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, EAGE Conference and Exhibition, incorporating SPE EUROPE2005 - Extended Abstracts, 67th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2005: The Challenge of Discovery. Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2005, pp.1891-1892.
  • Fairhead JD; Wilson M (2005) Plate tectonic processes in the South Atlantic Ocean: do we need deep mantle plumes?, In: Foulger; R G; Natland; H J; Presnall; C D; Anderson; L D (Ed) Plates, plumes and paradigms, Geological Society of America Special Paper, Geological Society of America, pp.537-553.
  • Fairhead JD (2005) Rethinking exploration strategy first, Petroleum World (London), .
  • Fairhead JD; Green CM; Fletcher KMU (2004) Hydrocarbon screening of the deep continental margins using non-seismic methods, First Break, 22, pp.59-64.
  • Stone V; Fairhead JD; Oterdoom WH; Carigali P (2004) The meter reader: Micro-magnetic seep detection in the Sudan, Leading Edge, 23, pp.734-737. doi: 10.1190/1.1786893
  • Mushayandebvu MF; Lesur V; Reid AB; Fairhead JD (2004) Grid Euler deconvolution with constraints for 2D structures, GEOPHYSICS, 69, pp.489-496. doi: 10.1190/1.1707069
  • Verduzco B; Fairhead JD; Green CM; MacKenzie C; Chris CM (2004) The meter reader: New insights into magnetic derivatives for structural mapping, Leading Edge, 23, pp.116-119. doi: 10.1190/1.1651454
  • Verduzco B; Fairhead JD; Green CM; MacKenzie C (2004) New insights into magnetic derivatives for structural mapping, Leading Edge, 23, pp.116-119. doi: 10.1190/1.1651454
  • Fairhead JD; Maus S (2003) CHAMP satellite and terrestrial magnetic data help define the tectonic model for South America and resolve the lingering problem of the pre-break-up fit of the South Atlantic Ocean, Leading Edge, 22, pp.779-783. doi: 10.1190/1.1605081
  • Fairhead JD; Green CM; Blitzkow D (2003) The use of GPS in gravity surveys, Leading Edge, 22, pp.954-959. doi: 10.1190/1.1623636
  • Fairhead JD; Odegard ME (2002) Advances in gravity survey resolution, Leading Edge (Tulsa, OK), 21, pp.36-37. doi: 10.1190/1.1445845
  • Fairhead JD; Odegard M (2002) The Meter Reader - Advances in gravity survey resolution, Leading Edge, 21, pp.36-37. doi: 10.1190/1.1445845
  • Mushayandebvu MF; van Driel P; Reid AB; Fairhead JD (2001) Magnetic source parameters of two-dimensional structures using extended Euler deconvolution, GEOPHYSICS, 66, pp.814-823.
  • Fairhead JD; Green CM; Odegard M (2001) Satellite-derived gravity having an impact on marine exploration, Leading Edge, 20, pp.873-876. doi: 10.1190/1.1487298
  • Nnange JM; Poudjom Djomani YH; Fairhead JD; Ebinger CJ (2001) Determination of the isostatic compensation mechanism of the region of the Adamawa Dome, West Central Africa using the admittance technique of gravity data, African Journal of Science and Technology. Series A. Technology, 1, pp.29-35.
  • Fairhead JD; Green CM; Dickson WG (2001) Oil exploration from space: fewer places to hide, First Break, 19, pp.514-519.
  • Zhang C; Mushayandebvu MF; Reid AB; Fairhead JD; Odegard M (2000) Euler deconvolution of gravity tensor gradient data, Geophysics, 65, pp.512-520.
  • Poudjom Djomani YH; Fairhead JD; Griffin WL (1999) The flexural rigidity of Fennoscandia: reflection of the tectonothermal age of the lithospheric mantle, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 174, pp.139-154.
  • Watts AB; Fairhead JD (1999) A process-oriented approach to modelling the gravity signature of continental margins, Leading Edge, pp.pp.258.
  • Maus S; Green CM; Fairhead JD (1998) Improved ocean-geoid resolution from retracked ERS-1 satellite altimeter waveforms, Geophysical Journal International, 134, pp.243-253. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-246X.1998.00552.x
  • Vidotti RM; Ebinger CJ; Fairhead JD (1998) Gravity signature of the western Paraná basin, Brazil, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 159, pp.117-132.
  • Fairhead JD; Somerton IW (1998) New insights into old data, Leading Edge, pp.71-72.
  • Green CM; Fairhead JD (1998) Satellite derived gravity: where we are and what next, Leading Edge, pp.77-79.
  • McKenzie D; Fairhead JD (1997) Estimates of the effective elastic thickness of the continental lithosphere from Bouguer and free air gravity anomalies, Journal of Geophysical Research, 102, pp.27523-27552.
  • Miranda JV; Ebinger CJ; Fairhead JD (1997) Regional gravity and magnetic investigation of the Takutu Basin, Roraima - Brazil, Proceedings of the V International Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society, Sao Paulo, Brazil, pp.883-884.
  • Maus S; Gordon DRH; Fairhead JD (1997) Curie-temperature depth estimation using a self-similar magnetization model, Geophysical Journal International, 129, pp.163-168.
  • Watts AB; Fairhead JD (1997) Gravity anomalies and magmatism along the western continental margin of the British Isles, Journal of the Geological Society, 154, pp.523-529.
  • Ibrahim AE; Ebinger CJ; Fairhead JD (1996) Lithospheric extension northwest of the Central African Shear Zone in Sudan from potential field studies, Tectonophysics, 255, pp.79-97.