Professor Jeff Peakall

Professor Jeff Peakall


Professor Jeff Peakall is a process sedimentologist working on both natural processes (submarine fans, rivers, lakes, and cohesive mud erosion) and industrial systems (nuclear waste ponds, design of new nuclear storage facilities). He led the Sorby Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory for 15 years, a NERC Recognised Facility that seeks to act as a key National research facility for environmental fluids research in the UK. Jeff uses laboratory physical modelling, field measurements of modern systems, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and outcrop studies of rocks to elucidate flow dynamics and sedimentary processes. Jeff has a BSc in Geography-Geology from the University of St. Andrews, an MSc in Sedimentology and its Applications from the University of Reading, and a PhD in Geology from the University of Leeds. He spent 5 years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Leeds, prior to joining the staff as a Lecturer in 2000, becoming Professor of Process Sedimentology in 2012. He has won a number of best paper prizes, an Institute of Chemical Engineering (IChemE) award for his work on sedimentation problems in the nuclear industry, and led the laboratory work on testing Speedo's swimsuit fabrics for the London 2012 Olympics.

Research interests


A key research interest has been in understanding the giant channels that traverse the world’s sea-floors. I have worked extensively on submarine channel evolution, sedimentation, and the flow dynamics of currents that traverse these channel systems. As part of this I have been measuring flows through active submarine channels in the Black Sea and in a reservoir on the Yellow River in China. See the New Scientist article for more details:

For a broader overview of the astonishing world of submarine channels and a comparison with other channel types from across the solar system see Jeff’s Geological Society Shell Lecture on ‘Rivers Under the Sea’ on YouTube

In marked contrast to submarine channel dynamics, Jeff led the laboratory materials testing for drag resistance for Speedo International’s London 2012 Olympics swimsuits. See:

Currently Jeff’s research group is working on fluid and sediment problems, from gravity current dynamics, sand injectites, high-concentration flows, erosion of cohesive sediments, modelling of two-phase particulate suspensions, to analysis of submarine channel flow dynamics. The group is also working on topics as varied as novel acoustic approaches for in situ measurement of industrial suspensions, the flow dynamics of sharks and fossil fishes, gas hold-up in sediment beds, and channel lobe processes and deposits in deep-marine systems. These utilise the full range of laboratory, field and numerical approaches.

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


  • PhD in Sedimentary Geology
  • MSc Sedimentology and its Applications
  • BSc Geography-Geology

Professional memberships

  • Geological Society of London, FGS
  • International Association of Sedimentologists

Student education

Jeff is module leader and teaches on the following modules; SOEE1034 Natural Hazards, SOEE2062 Sedimentary Processes, SOEE3060 Advanced Sedimentology and its Applications; SOEE5620M Advanced Sedimentology, SOEE5621M Sedimentary Fluid Dynamics. Jeff also leads the second year Ireland Fieldtrip, and runs the County Clare component (this is part of SOEE2096 and SOEE2107). Additionally, Jeff teaches on MATH5453M Foundations of Fluid Dynamics. Jeff has won many awards for his teaching. In particular, it's a great thrill for Jeff to teach the main component of the Natural Hazards class, and a joy to teach Sedimentology at all levels.

Research groups and institutes

  • Sedimentology
  • Institute of Applied Geoscience

Current postgraduate researchers

<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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>