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Professor Justin Dix BSc, PhD

Professor in Marine Geology & Geophysics

Professor Justin Dix's photo

Professor Justin Dix is Professor in Marine Geology and Geophysics within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.

BSc (Hons) Geology, University of Dundee (1989)

PhD Geology, University of St Andrews (1994)

Research interests


High resolution marine geophysics and geology – with particular emphasis of seabed-structure interactions.

Research Interests

My research is focused around developing novel approaches to near surface acoustic imaging of the seabed and applying these to a range of engineering, geological and archaeological problems. My research interests can be sub-divided in to four broad categories:

Development of High Resolution Seismic Acquisition, Processing and Interpretation systems

Over the last two decades I have been involved with the development of both 2D, 3D and latterly 4D high resolution seismic systems (particularly Chirp sources); the development of approaches for the quantitative analysis of such Chirp and other high frequency datasets acquired from both the seabed and sub-surface; the determination of the acoustic properties of different natural sediments (e.g. shallow gas – in collaboration with colleagues in ISVR & NOCS) as well as archaeological materials, in order to enhance the detection capabilities of these systems.

Interactions between Offshore structures and the natural environment

I am currently researching into substrate controls on heat dissipation from HV cables in the marine environment (in collaboration with colleagues in OES and Electronics & Computer Science). This problem is being approached through a combination of numerical and physical modelling; integrated analysis of extant field data (geophysical and geotechnical ground models with Distributed Temperature Sensor Data and electrical load data); and the acquisition, pre- and post-installation phases, of geophysical and geotechnical data utilising the imaging and remote quantification techniques developed in Southampton. I am also interested in controls on spatial and temporal scour evolution around a range of submerged objects, utilising both industry datasets and from novel in situ acquisition techniques.

Late Quaternary Geology:

I have also been involved in projects looking at the Late Quaternary geology of the continental shelves and modern shelf sedimentary processes, again focused on the use of high resolution single and multi-time step high resolution geophysical data. I have worked in a range of environments from across the globe including: Greenland, the UK shelf, the Black Sea, Israel and New Zealand.

Marine Archaeological Geophysics:

in addition to work on modern offshore structures I have also worked extensively on archaeological projects both wreck and submerged landscape sites, such as: the 3D imaging of a series of buried shipwrecks including the current investigation in to the possible location of Henry V’s warship, the Holigost; a series of projects on the taphonomy of wreck sites; the Late Quaternary history of the Black Sea shelf; and the investigation of the offshore deposits associated with the earliest evidence (c. 1 Ma) of hominin activity in NW Europe.


Research group

Geology and Geophysics

Research project(s)

3D Chirp - Decimetre resolution sub-bottom profiling

Geo-archaeology - New high-resolution 3D seismic imaging

The Taphonomy of Historic Wreck Sites

Vertical turbulence structures in the benthic boundary layer as related to suspended sediment

Impact of seabed properties on the ampacity and reliability of cables

Hydrodynamic and Geotechnical Controls of Scour Around Offshore Monopiles

Environmental Controls on the State of HV Cables under the Seafloor

iCOASST - integrating coastal sediment systems

Windermere Research

Sediment transport pathways offshore between Poole and Christchurch Bays

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Book Chapters



Professor Justin Dix
Ocean and Earth Science
National Oceanography Centre Southampton
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus
European Way
Southampton SO14 3ZH

Room Number : NOCS/186/05

Facsimile: (023) 8059 3059

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