School of Earth and Environment

Timothy Cullen Timothy Cullen

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:
Room: G19 28 University Road

Affiliation: Institute of Applied Geoscience


I am a member of the Basin Structure Group within the Institute of Applied Geosciences currently undertaking a PhD investigating sedimentary and structural interactions in syn-rift basin evolution. I also help out with demonstrating on MSc and undergraduate courses at Leeds and the AAPG student chapter.


  • BSc Geological Sciences (Industrial) - University of Leeds with placement at Rock Deformation Research/Schlumberger
  • MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics - University of Leeds


  • PESGB Student Member
  • AAPG Student Member
  • Geological Society of London Fellow

Research Interests

Basin Evolution and Sedimentology
My current PhD research investigates "the response of density underflows to rift basin floor topography and palaeoclimate" in the Gulf of Corinth, Central Greece. This ultimately has the broader aim of better understanding syn-rift basin evolution and basin fill to be able to effectively predict facies distributions in such settings in late syn-rift combined stratigraphic and structural hydrocarbon plays (e.g Johan Sverdrup type).

Structural Geology
My MSc project investigated the formation and fault seal characteristics of 'De Keyser' faults/zones/lineaments in the Southern North Sea. De Keysers are poorly understood, long, low throw lineaments in the Sub-Zechstein strata of the Southern north sea with enigmatic sealing behaviours.

Teaching Interests

I demonstrate on the MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics course in Geomechanics and 3D Structure structure modules amongst others and on various field courses. I also have some demonstrating responibilities in Deformation Processes modules for undergraduates.

Project details

Project title

Response of density underflows to rift basin floor typography and palaeoenvironmental changes.


Dr Richard Collier , Professor Dave Hodgson, Rob Gawthorpe (University of Bergen), Katerina Kouli (University of Athens)


This project is co-funded by the Norwegian Research Council and oil company sponsors of the PETROMAKS 2 "Syn-rift systems: Outcrop analogues and subsurface applications" project and the University of Leeds.

Start date

1 October 2016

Project outline

The focus of this PhD will be the characterization of mid-Pleistocene rift margin delta slope to deep-water depositional systems that have been uplifted and are extensively exposed on the margin of the modern Gulf of Corinth, Greece. The aim is to understand the variety of density flow processes that evolve downslope of fan deltas that supplied sand and conglomerates from basement highs on the syn-depositional rift margin. Multiple outcrop sections will allow delta slope to basin floor sedimentary transitions to be documented. Deposit types range from mass transport deposits to channel complexes and channelized lobes which include high density turbidites, to background deposits of low density sandy turbidites and hemipelagic fines. Mapping of structural features, bypass channels and channel lobes will determine how sediment routing was influenced by topography on the rift margin and around intrabasinal highs, in a study area that specifically includes the tip of a major syn-depositional, subaqueous basement ridge. The mid-Pleistocene stratigraphy includes alternating lacustrine and marine phases, recording fluctuations in base level on 104-105 year time scales. This gives the opportunity to examine how density flow processes and architectural stacking patterns responded to base level changes and to changes in the density of the standing water body.


Cullen, T De Keyser formation and sealing characteristics: The Greater Markham Area, S.North Sea Poster at PETEX Conference 2016, ExCel Centre, London

Cullen, T; Collier, R.E.L; Hodgson, D; Gawthorpe,R; Kouli, K; The reponse of density underflows to rift basin floor topography and palaeoclimate: Examples from the Gulf of Corinth, Greece Poster at PETEX Conference 2016, ExCel Centre, London