Dr Adam McArthur

Dr Adam McArthur


Deep-marine sedimentologist associated with the Turbidite Research Group (TRG) at the University of Leeds since 2017. My main interests include the multidiciplinary study of deep-marine environments and the interaction of sedimentary processes with active tectonics. I have previously worked on a range of deep-marine systems across the globe, from outcrop and subsurface with a range of techniques from outcrop and core based sedimentology; organic matter studies (palynofacies and organic geochemistry); petrographic studies; detrital zircon analysis; microfossil assemblages; 2D, 3D and 4D seismic data; wireline well-log interpretations. 

I obtained my PhD in Geology from the University of Aberdeen in 2012, subsequently leading an internation research program on deep-marine systems at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. 

My current research focuses on investigating the evolution of deep-water systems in trench-slope settings. Extensive fieldwork on the Hikurangi Margin of New Zealand is being incorporated with high resolution subsurface data for an integrated analysis of the lithofacies distribution, sedimentary architecture, palaeoenvironments and basin evolution. This will help us understand how deep-marine sedimentary processes (very difficult to observe in motion) interact with evolving sea-floor structures, with implications for sedimentary systems, palaeo-seismicity, sea-floor infrastructure and resoruce exploration. I am also involved in collaborative projects studying deep-marine systems in Baja California, Mexico; offshore Tanzania, East Africa; offshore Brazil; and in the French and Italian Alps.

I welcome interest from like-minded researchers and potential students. Please contact me if you are interested in collaboration on any aspect of deep-marine systems.


  • Associate Editor for Sedimentology
  • Sedimentology Group coordinator

Research interests

  • French cheese (and turbidites)
  • Italian wine (and turbidites)
  • Argentinian steaks (and turbidites)
  • New Zealand lamb (and turbidites)
  • Scottish Whisky (and turbidites)
<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>


  • PhD, University of Aberdeen
  • BSC (Hons), University of Aberdeen

Professional memberships

  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • British Sedimentological Research Group
  • International Association of Sedimentologists
  • Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain
  • Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)

Student education

Current research students:

  • Adriana Crisostomo Figueroa (March 2018 to present). PhD topic: Predicting stratigraphic trap integrity in deepwater settings. Co-supervisor.
  • Daniel Tek (June 2018 to present). PhD topic: Autogenic versus allogenic controls on deep-sea channel evolution. Co-supervisor.
  • William Bailey (May 2019 to present). MSc topic: Distribution and controls on contourite drift in subduction complexes: implications for structural evolution and petroleum systems of active margins. Primary supervisor. 

Completed research students:

  • Xiao Liang (May 2018 to present). MSc topic: Distribution and controls on submarine slope mass-failures in subduction complexes. Co-supervisor.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Applied Geoscience
  • Sedimentology
  • Geosolutions Leeds
<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://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1304-hybrid-event-beds-in-confined-basins">Hybrid event beds in confined basins</a></li>