Dr Adam Booth

Dr Adam Booth

Profile

Geophysical survey holds the key to understanding the physical properties of the subsurface, and how they may evolve through time. I work with applications of near-surface geophysics - the range of the subsurface 'in the zone of human interaction'. I conduct a range of engineering and environmental surveys, but work primarily with snow, ice and material in the subglacial environment. I have undertaken seismic surveys at both poles to understand ice structure, and lead a NERC Urgency project (NE/R012334/1) to characterise the deformation of Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf in the aftermath of the 2017 iceberg calving event.  I am the UK Co-I on the NERC/NSF funded TIME project, researching controls on the evolution of the margins of Antarctia's Thwaites Glacier.

Elsewhere, I work on the NERC/FAPESP-funded Nordeste project to use ground penetrating radar methods in the investigation of subsurface biomass in Brazil's caatinga biome, and have initiated ecological applications of geophysics to study the habitats of burrowing mammals. This research was featured in the BBC's 'Animals with Cameras' documentary. I have also contributed to a number of archaeological projects, notably in the Egyptian and Omani deserts, and at UK sites including Whitby Abbey, Raglan Castle and Elsecar Heritage Site.

I am involved with the activities of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, serving as an Associate Editor for their Near Surface Geophysics journal, and twice as project manager for their "Boot Camp" series of field acquisition courses. I also sit on the committee of the GeolSoc's Near Surface Geophysics Group, where I convene the Postgraduate Symposia and our annual fieldwork fund

Research interests

Key to much of my research is the transfer of geophysical practice across different geoscience disciplines - what can one branch of geophysics learn from practice in another? A good example is my use of seismic reflectivity (AVO) methods, commonly applied in the hydrocarbon industry, to characterise material in the subglacial environment. I am interested in any approach that improves the accuracy, and characterises the precision, of a geophysical interpretation, including multi-platform joint inversion strategies. My reserch has diverse applications at various depth ranges: from the shallowest-buried animal tunnels, through archaeological applications, into kilometre-thick ice sheets and subsurface reservoirs.

A sample of my past and present research projects is listed below:

2019-2022 - NERC Standard Grant (NE/R010838/1) - Impact of deep subglacial groundwater on ice stream flow in West Antarctica (IGIS) (£610k). Project Partner.

2018-2023 - NERC/NSF Thwaites Call NE/R012334/1 - Thwaites Interdisciplinary Margin Evolution (TIME) (£358k).  Co-Investigator

2017-2018 - NERC Urgency Grant NE/R012334/1 - Ice shelf response to large-scale iceberg calving (£65k).

2017-2021 - NERC Industrial CASE Studentship (NE/P009492/1) - Glaciological applications of seismic full waveform inversion (£88k).

2017 - INTERACT-TA - SNAP: Snow accumulation patterns across Hardangerjokulen ice cap (£3k).

2016-2019 - NERC/FAPESP (NE/N012550/1) - Nordeste: Understanding and Sustaining Brazilian Biome Resources. (£131k). Co-Investigator.

2016-2020 - KLIMAFORSK - EvoGLAC: Investigating the future evolution of Norwegian glaciers and hydrological impacts (£110k). Project Partner.

2012 - INTERACT-TA - Seismic assessment of Storglaciären Glacier (£4k).

2010-2011 - NERC (NE/H012869/1) - Seismic characterisation of basal conditions of Russell Glacier, West Greenland Ice Sheet (£521k). Project Partner.

Research Group - PhD students:

Alif Jelani (completed June 2018) - Wide-angle Seismic Reflection and Refraction Study of Seaward Dipping Reflector in Volcanic Passive Margins. Project co-supervised by Graham Stuart and Doug Angus.

Siobhan Killingbeck - Subglacial Aquifers: Characterisation with geophysical methods. Project co-supervised by Phil Livermore and Jared West.

Hardi Bin Saleh - Valhall Seismic Geomechanics: Case study of time-lapse and microseismic prediction from coupled flow-geomechanical models. Project led by Quentin Fisher.

Emma Pearce - Density assessment of ice masses using seismic Full Waveform Inversion. Project co-supervised by Graham Stuart, with NERC CASE support from Ian Jones at ION-GXT and partnership with BAS.

Luis Rees-Hughes - The buried coast: assessment and quantitative interpretation of paleo-coastlines. Project led by Natasha Barlow and co-supervised by Jared West, with NERC CASE support from RSK Geophysics.

Rebecca Schlegel - GPR investigations of subglacial processes on Rutford Ice Stream. Based at Swansea University; project led by Tavi Murray, co-supervised by Roger Clark and BAS.

Hannah Watts - Geophysical investigation of proglacial geomorphology; project led by Benny Reinardy, Stockholm University, and co-supervised by Bill Murphy.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • PhD, Near Surface Geophysics, University of Leeds
  • MSc, Exploration Geophysics, University of Leeds
  • BSc, Geophysical Sciences, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE)
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)
  • European Geosciences Union (EGU)
  • International Society for Archaeological Prospection (ISAP)
  • Geological Society of London

Student education

Much of my teaching is directed towards MSc Exploration Geophysics, with the following responsiblities:

  • Module Manager - SOEE5110 Independent Research Project
  • Module Manager - SOEE5005 Geophysical Methods
  • Practical Instructor - SOEE5155 Seismic Fundamentals and Acquisition
  • Practical Instructor - SOEE5166 Seismic Data Processing
  • Fieldwork Instructor - SOEE5142 Geophysical Field Methods

I also coordinate the External Advisory Board for this MSc programme.

Research groups and institutes

  • Applied Geophysics
  • Institute of Applied Geoscience
  • Petroleum Leeds

Current postgraduate research students

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>