Dr. Oliver Duffy

Photo of researcher
Research Scientist
Bureau of Economic Geology
The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box X
Austin, Texas 78713-8924

Research Interests

My research principally uses seismic interpretation methods to understand: i) salt tectonic processes in sedimentary basins; ii)  the structural styles and modes of tectono-stratigraphic evolution in rift basins, and; iii) the geometry and evolution of fault networks. Current and previous basins of interest include the Norwegian and Danish Sectors of the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of Corinth (Greece) and the Precaspian Basin (Kazakhstan).


• 2015 – present Research Associate (Salt Tectonics), Applied Geodynamic Laboratory, Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin
• 2012-2015 Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Imperial College London, UK: ‘Fault Growth and Interaction in Multiphase Rifts’. Advisors: Dr Christopher A-L Jackson and Dr Rebecca Bell. Funded by Petromaks and Statoil (part of MultiRift project)
• 2012 Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, University of Manchester, UK: ‘Tectono-stratigraphic Evolution of the Burgos Basin, Gulf of Mexico’. Principal Investigators: Dr. Mads Huuse and Prof. Jonathan Redfern. Funded by PEMEX and IMP Mexico
• 2007-2012 PhD in Earth Sciences, University of Manchester, UK: ‘Tectonic, Geomorphic and Stratigraphic Interactions, and Salt Influence in Rift Basins’. Supervised by Prof. Rob Gawthorpe, Dr. Simon Brocklehurst, Prof. Mike Leeder (UEA), Dr. Matthew Docherty (Maersk). Funded by Maersk Oil and Gas, Copenhagen, Denmark. Examined by Dr Mads Huuse and Dr Atle Rotevatn.
• 2009 Graduate Intern – StatoilHydro, Bergen, Norway.
• 2009 Graduate Intern – Maersk Oil og Gas, Copenhagen, Denmark.
• 2004-2007 BSc (Hons) Geology - University of Manchester, UK


  • Midland Valley Postgraduate Student Structural Prize (1st place) - Worldwide competition for the Highest Quality Structural Geology Paper (2013)
  • Imperial College Post-Doc Collaboration Grant - Numerical Modelling of Fault Growth in Multiphase Rifts (2013)
  • Arthur Holmes Centenary Grant to attend AAPG 2013 Conference
  • Statoil Academia Mobility Grant to visit the University of Bergen as a visiting researcher (2011)
  • AAPG Annual Conference Student Poster Prize (4th place), Denver, USA (2009)
  • Midland Valley Undergraduate Student Structural Prize (1st place) - Worldwide competition for the Highest Quality Structural Geology Paper (2007)


Duffy, O.B., Bell, R.E., Jackson, C.A-L., Gawthorpe, R.L., and Whipp, P.S., 2015, Fault growth and interactions in a multiphase rift fault network: Horda Platform, Norwegian North Sea:Journal of Structural Geology, v. 80, p. 99-119

Magee C, Duffy O.B, Purnell K, Bell R.E., Jackson CAL, Reeve M.T. 2015. Fault-Controlled Fluid Flow Inferred from Hydrothermal Vents Imaged in 3D Seismic Reflection Data, offshore NW Australia. Basin Research

Reeve M.T, Bell R.E., Duffy O.B, Jackson CAL, Sansom E. 2015. The Growth of Non-Colinear Normal Fault Systems; What Can We Learn From 3D Seismic Reflection Data? Journal of Structural Geology 70: 141-155

Duffy O.B., Brocklehurst S.H., Gawthorpe R.L., Leeder M.R., Finch E. 2014 Controls on Landscape and Drainage Evolution in Regions of Distributed Normal Faulting: The Perachora Peninsula, Gulf of Corinth, Central Greece. 70: 141-155

Osagiede E, Duffy O.B, Jackson CAL, Wrona T, 2014, Quantifying the Growth History of Seismically Imaged Normal Faults. Journal of Structural Geology 66:382-399.

Duffy O.B., Gawthorpe R.L, Docherty M, Brocklehurst S. H. 2013. Mobile Evaporite Controls on the Structural Style and Evolution of Rift Basins. Basin Research 25: 310-330.

PhD Student Supervision

Antje Lenhart (PhD student – Imperial College London) - Role of Pre-Existing Structures on Tectono-Stratigraphic Evolution of Rift Basins (2013 - ongoing)

Tom Phillips (PhD student – Imperial College London) 2013 - ongoing - Enriching Models of Rift Basin Evolution: The influence of Mobile Salt, Basement Composition and Multiple Rifting Episodes (2013 - ongoing)

Alex Coleman (PhD student – Imperial College London) - Fault-Related Folding in Salt-Influenced Extensional Basins (2014 - ongoing)

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