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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Professor Graham K Westbrook PhD

Visiting Professor

Professor Graham K Westbrook's photo

Professor Graham K Westbrook is Visiting Professor within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.

BSc London 1970, 1st class honours Geology
PhD Durham 1974, Marine Geophysics
1973-1974 Senior Demonstrator, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Durham
1974-1976 Lecturer in Geophysics, Department of Geology, University of Keele
1977-1984 Lecturer in Geophysics (Senior Lecturer 1984), Department of Geological Sciences, University of Durham
1984-2010 Professor of Geophysics, University of Birmingham.
1984-1988 Head of the Department of Geological Sciences
1996-1999 Head of School of Earth Sciences
Temporary and part-time posts
1982 Visiting Research Associate, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University, New York, USA.
1985-1991 &1994-2000 Adjunct Senior Research Scientist (part-time) Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, New York, USA.
2006 Visiting Research Professor at Institut Universitaire Europeen de la Mer, Université Occidentale de Bretagne, Brest, France.
2009- Visiting Professor, School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton.
2010- Visiting Senior Researcher at Ifremer (Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer), Centre de Brest, France.
2011- Professorial Research Fellow, School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton.
During his academic career, Graham Westbrook has held 28 research grants and contracts and has participated in 23 marine geological and geophysical research cruises. He has taught a wide range of subjects at both BSc and MSc level in the fields of geophysics and tectonics and has supervised 25 research students.

Research interests

After working initially on the structure of the crust and upper mantle at subduction zones, Graham Westbrook's research focused on the structure and tectonics of accretionary wedges and on the role of fluids in governing the tectonic processes of these wedges. Over recent years, his primary research activity has been on submarine gas hydrate, using seismic techniques to investigate the distribution of methane hydrate in continental margins and the structures through which methane is brought to the seabed, such as gas/fluid-escape chimneys, and using numerical modelling to simulate the processes by which methane hydrate forms near the seabed and by which gas released from dissociating hydrate migrates through the sediment. He has worked on submarine gas hydrate since he was co-chief of ODP Leg 146, which drilled gas hydrate off Vancouver Island and Oregon. He coordinated the EU FP5 project HYDRATECH, which developed seismic techniques for the quantification of methane hydrate in continental margins, using data acquired from sites off west Svalbard and the Storegga region off Norway, and in 2006 he organised two high-resolution tomographic experiments with ocean-bottom seismometers, conducted on fluid-escape chimneys off Norway, as part of the HERMES project. Since 2008, he has been involved in an investigation of the effect of climate change on the stability of Arctic submarine hydrate off Svalbard. In these projects off Norway and Svalbard, he worked in collaboration with colleagues from other universities and research institutes, principally the University of Southampton - National Oceanography Centre and Ifremer. His collaboration with Southampton and Ifremer continues, through research funded by NERC that employed very high-resolution seismic and CSEM imaging of hydrate and gas off Svalbard in 2011 and 2012.

Research projects

Core to regional scale synthesis of fault zone properties and fluids at subduction zones: Drivers of seismogenic behaviour. (2011-2013)

Arctic hydrate dissociation as a consequence of climate change: determining the vulnerable methane reservoir and gas escape mechanisms.(2011-2014)

Research group

Geology and Geophysics

Research project(s)

Dynamics of gas hydrates in polar environments

Professor Graham K Westbrook
Ocean and Earth Science
National Oceanography Centre Southampton
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus
European Way
Southampton SO14 3ZH
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