School of Earth and Environment

Bill Murphy Dr Bill Murphy

Pro Dean: International; Senior Lecturer in Engineering Geology

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 35232
Email address:
Room: 10.18f
PA details: Liz Dell +44(0) 113 34 31941

Affiliation: Institute of Applied Geoscience

Link to personal page


Bill Murphy is an engineering geologist with over 25 years of experience of research, teaching and consulting in the broad geotechnical field. His expertise is landslides and slope stability, with a specific interests in how the ground performs during earthquakes and the performance of rock slopes. Other interests include engineering rock mechanics and the response of rock masses to time dependent processes. Research funding comes from the Newton Fund, UKRI and Industry. Field experience includes various parts of the EU, Central and South America, New Zealand and various parts of SE Asia.

Bill has been a consultant to Scott Wilson; Halcrow; AECOM; Kier-BAM Jv and Arup. Consulting activities have covered slope stability problems and rock mechanics. He is one of the authors of the forthcoming CIRIA guide for rock netting systems and retains a keen interest in involvement with industry.

Bill Murphy was the program leader for the MSc Engineering Geology from 2001-2014. He holds a BSc from the University of Strathclyde and a PhD from University College London. Dr Murphy is a Fellow of the Geological Society and a member of the Society of Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics. He is currently a member of the editorial board of "Engineering Geology" and has been on the editorial boards of Geotechnique (2011-2018) and Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology.

Bill is a Chartered Geologist.

Research Interests

  • Engineering geology
  • Landslide mechanics and slope instability
  • Geological processes in rock mechanics
  • Earthquake induced ground failure

Academic CV (pdf file)


  • Merritt AJ; Chambers JE; Murphy W; Wilkinson PB; West LJ; Uhlemann S; Meldrum PI; Gunn D (2018) Landslide activation behaviour illuminated by electrical resistance monitoring, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 43, pp.1321-1334. doi: 10.1002/esp.4316
  • Stavrou A; Murphy W (2018) Quantifying the effects of scale and heterogeneity on the confined strength of micro-defected rocks, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 102, pp.131-143. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2018.01.019
  • Aliyu MM; Murphy W; Lawrence JA; Collier R (2017) Engineering geological characterization of flints, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, 50, pp.133-147. doi: 10.1144/qjegh2015-044
  • Merritt AJ; Chambers JE; Wilkinson PB; West LJ; Murphy W; Gunn D; Uhlemann S (2016) Measurement and modelling of moisture-electrical resistivity relationship of fine-grained unsaturated soils and electrical anisotropy, Journal of Applied Geophysics, 124, pp.155-165. doi: 10.1016/j.jappgeo.2015.11.005
  • Aliyu MM; Murphy W; Collier REL; Lawrence JA (2015) Classification of flints for drill wear potential, In: Schubert W; Kluckner A (Ed) Future Developments of Rock Mechanics, EUROCK 2015 & 64th Geomechanics Symposium, Austrian Society for Geomechanics, pp.309-314.
  • Merritt AJ; Chambers JE; Murphy W; Wilkinson PB; West LJ; Gunn DA; Meldrum PI; Kirkham M; Dixon N (2014) 3D ground model development for an active landslide in Lias mudrocks using geophysical, remote sensing and geotechnical methods, Landslides, 11, pp.537-550. doi: 10.1007/s10346-013-0409-1
  • Chambers J; Meldrum P; Gunn D; Wilkinson P; Merritt A; Murphy W; West J; Kuras O; Haslam E; Hobbs P; Pennington C; Munro C (2013) Geophysical-geotechnical sensor networks for landslide monitoring, Landslide Science and Practice: Early Warning, Instrumentation and Monitoring, 2, pp.289-294. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-31445-2-37
  • Castedo R; Murphy W; Lawrence J; Paredes C (2012) A new process-response coastal recession model of soft rock cliffs, Geomorphology, 177-178, pp.128-143. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.07.020
  • Castedo R; Paredes C; Murphy W; Lawrence J (2012) Process-response coastal bluff recession model, application to holderness coast (UK), Proceedings of the Coastal Engineering Conference, .
  • Castedo R; Paredes C; Murphy W; Lawrence J (2012) A new process-response coastal recession model of soft rock cliffs, Geomorphology, . doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.07.020
  • Stavrou A; Lawrence JA; Mortimore RN; Murphy W (2011) A geotechnical and GIS based method for evaluating risk exposition along coastal cliff environments: a case study of the chalk cliffs of southern England, NATURAL HAZARDS AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES, 11, pp.2997-3011. doi: 10.5194/nhess-11-2997-2011
  • Quinn JD; Rosser NJ; Murphy W; Lawrence JA (2010) Identifying the behavioural characteristics of clay cliffs using intensive monitoring and geotechnical numerical modelling, GEOMORPHOLOGY, 120, pp.107-122. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.03.004
  • Quinn JD; Philip LK; Murphy W (2009) Understanding the recession of the Holderness Coast, east Yorkshire, UK: a new presentation of temporal and spatial patterns, Q J ENG GEOL HYDROGE, 42, pp.165-178. doi: 10.1144/1470-9236/08-032
  • Bulmer MH; Petley DN; Murphy W; Mantovani F (2006) Detecting slope deformation using two-pass differential interferometry: Implications for landslide studies on Earth and other planetary bodies, Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, 111, . doi: 10.1029/2005JE002593
  • Bulmer MH; Petley DN; Murphy W; Mantovani F (2006) Detecting slope deformation using two-pass differential interferometry: Implications for landslide studies on Earth and other planetary bodies, J GEOPHYS RES-PLANET, 111, . doi: 10.1029/2005JE002593
  • Murphy W (2006) The role of topographic amplification on the initiation of rock slopes failures during earthquakes, In: Evans SG; Mugnozza GS; Strom A; Hermanns RL (Ed) 49, pp.139-154.
  • Sepulveda SA; Murphy W; Jibson RW; Petley DN (2005) Seismically induced rock slope failures resulting from topographic amplification of strong ground motions: The case of Pacoima Canyon California, ENG GEOL, 80, pp.336-348. doi: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2005.07.004
  • Whitworth MCZ; Giles DP; Murphy W (2005) Airborne remote sensing for landslide hazard assessment: a case study on the Jurassic escarpment slopes of Worcestershire, UK, Q J ENG GEOL HYDROGE, 38, pp.285-300.
  • Sepulveda SA; Murphy W; Petley DN (2005) Topographic controls on coseismic rock slides during the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake, Taiwan, Q J ENG GEOL HYDROGE, 38, pp.189-196.
  • Sepulveda S; Murphy W; Petley DN (2004) The role of topographic amplification on the generation of earthquake-induced rock slope failures, In: Lacerda; A W; Ehrlich; M; Fontoura; B SA; Sayao; F S (Ed) Landslides: evalution and stabilization, 1, A.A. Balkema, pp.311-315.
  • Murphy W; Mankelow JM (2004) Obtaining probabilistic estimates of displacement on a landslide during future earthquakes, J EARTHQ ENG, 8, pp.133-157.
  • Rolo R; Bommer JJ; Houghton BF; Vallance J; Berdousis P; Mavrommati C; Murphy W (2004) Geologic and engineering characterization of Tierra Blanca pyroclastic ash deposits, In: Rose; I W; Bommer; J J; L√≥pez; L D; Carr; J M; Major; J J (Ed) Natural hazards in El Salvador, Geological Society of America Special Paper, 375, Boulder, Colorado: Geological Society of America, pp.55-67.
  • Wilson AJ; Petley DN; Murphy W (2003) Down-slope variation in geotechnical parameters and pore fluid control on a large-scale Alpine landslide, GEOMORPHOLOGY, 54, pp.49-62. doi: 10.1016/S0169-555X(03)00055-2
  • Ramli MF; Petley DN; Murphy W; Inkpen RJ (2002) Optimum band selection evaluation for landslide studies in temperate environments, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 4886, pp.342-350. doi: 10.1117/12.462324
  • Petley DN; Bulmer MH; Murphy W (2002) Patterns of movement in rotational and translational landslides, GEOLOGY, 30, pp.719-722.
  • Bommer JJ; Benito MB; Ciudad-Real M; Lemoine A; Lopez-Menjivar MA; Madariaga R; Mankelow J; de Hasbun PM; Murphy W; Nieto-Lovo M; Rodriguez-Pineda CE; Rosa H (2002) The El Salvador earthquakes of January and February 2001: context, characteristics and implications for seismic risk, SOIL DYN EARTHQ ENG, 22, pp.389-418.
  • Murphy W; Petley DN; Bommer J; Mankelow JM (2002) Uncertainty in ground motion estimates for the evaluation of slope stability during earthquakes, Q J ENG GEOL HYDROGE, 35, pp.71-78.
  • Bulmer MH; Mantovani F; Murphy W; Petley DN (2002) SAR interferometry in landslide monitoring: experiences from Black Ven Landslide, Dorset 2001, In: Delahaye; D; Levoy; F; Maquaire; O (Ed) Geomorphology: from expert opinion to modelling, Geomorphology: from expert opinion to modelling, pp.21-28.
  • Mankelow JM; Murphy W (1998) Using GIS in the probabilistic assessment of earthquake-triggered landslide hazards, Journal of Earthquake Engineering, 2, pp.593-623.
  • Murphy W (1997) Sensitivity of palaeoseismological estimates derived from landslides to variations in geotechnical and geological inputs, Geological Society of China. Journal, 40, pp.185-208.
  • Murphy W; Smith JD; Inkpen RJ (1996) Errors associated with determining P and S wave velocities for rock weathering studies, Processes of urban stone decay, pp.229-245.
  • Schuster RL; Murphy W (1996) Structural damage, ground failure and hydrologic effects of the magnitude (MW) 5.9 Draney Peak, Idaho, Earthquake of February 3, 1994, Seismological Research Letters, 67, pp.20-29.