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This project is eligible for support from Cardiff Universtiy through the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences.

To apply, please visit the Cardiff University Postgraduate Research portal:


The Oman-UAE ophiolite is often viewed as the classic example of oceanic crust formed at a fast-spreading mid-ocean ridge, directly comparable to modern spreading centres such as the East Pacific Rise. However, recent work by the supervisors of this project has demonstrated the pervasiveness of subduction-related geochemical signatures: the early part of the ophiolite sequence is shown to have formed at a spreading axis above a newly-forming subduction zone (MacLeod et al. 2013), then intruded by a (slightly) later, voluminous, subduction-related magmatic sequence that forms up to 50% of the crust in the northern part of the ophiolite (Goodenough et al. 2010).


The student will have the opportunity to work in a superb natural laboratory with a fully exposed, easily accessed field area where structural and igneous relationships can be examined in 3D, and to gain training in many aspects of both structural and igneous geology. He/she will learn to use a variety of analytical techniques in the labs at Cardiff and BGS. He/she will also have access to training courses within both the BGS portfolio and GW4 DTP partnership, and will be part of strong cross-institute research groups in Cardiff focusing both on the development of oceanic crust and on subduction zone processes.

Background Reading

MacLeod, C J, Lissenberg, C J, Bibby, L E (2013): “Moist MORB” axial magmatism in the Oman ophiolite: The evidence against a mid-ocean ridge origin. Geology 41, 459-462

Goodenough, K M, Styles, M T, Schofield, D, Thomas, R J, Crowley, Q C, Lilly, R M, McKervey, J, Stephenson, D, Carney, J N (2010): Architecture of the Oman-UAE ophiolite: evidence for a multi-phase magmatic history. Arabian Journal of Geosciences 3, 439-458

Contact Details

Professor Chris MacLeod –