Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Tiago Alves

Dr Tiago Alves

Darlithydd Gwyddorau'r Ddaear

Ysgol Gwyddorau’r Ddaear a’r Môr

+44 (0)29 2087 6754
1.57A, Y Prif Adeilad, Plas y Parc, Caerdydd, CF10 3AT
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


  • 3D seismic
  • petroleum geology
  • sequence stratigraphy & structural analysis
  • basin analysis with emphasis on deep-water basins
  • palaeoceanography

I am a Marine and Petroleum Geologist with extensive field and offshore experience. I lead the 3D Seismic Laboratory, where I use a range of datasets to understand how sedimentary basins on continental margins evolve from early rifting to their 'passive' and 'subduction' phases. I undertake project and consultancy work, as well as environmental studies concerning hydrocarbon-bearing regions, together with the supervision of PhD projects sponsored by research councils and industry worldwide. I am also an active member of the Energy Systems University Research Institute (ESURI) at Cardiff: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/energy-systems-research-institute

Key study areas (but not restricted to these): Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Africa, Gulf of Mexico, South China Sea, West Iberia, France, E Mediterranean, North Sea, W Shetland and Ireland, Norway, Barents Sea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Associate Editor - Marine and Petroleum Geology (Elsevier)

First supervisor of 7 PhD projects (2012-17) and 10 MESci theses (2008-2016) to completion. Currently supervising 10 PhD projects.

Edited the Basin Research Special Volume on 'Deep-Water Continental Margins' in 2014 (Basin Research 26(1), pp. 3-9. (10.1111/bre.12053).

Participated in the IODP Expedition 333 to SE Japan (Nankai Trough)

Research expeditions (cruises)

1999 - TTR9; Contourites offshore Portugal and mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Cadiz (Morocco)

2002 - TTR12; Sedimentary basins offshore the Azores, Atlantis Seamounts and Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Portugal)

2003 - R/V Pelagia cruise to the Nazaré Canyon and Prestige Site (Portugal and Spain)

2004 - R/V Charles Darwin cruise to the Setúbal, Cascais and Nazaré Canyons (Portugal)

2004 - R/V Aegeao cruise to Gulf of Corinth (Greece)

2004 - R/V Aegeao/HERMES cruise to the South Crete Canyons (Greece)

2005 - R/V Aegeao/HERMES to South Crete's transtensional basins (Greece)

2005 - R/V Urania/HERMES cruise to the Ionian Sea, South Crete and Rhodes coral reefs (Italy and Greece)

2006 - R/V Pelagia P336 cruise; Landslides in Northern Crete (Greece)

2010/11 - IODP Exp 333 to Nankai Trough; Landslides on tectonically active margins (Japan)

2016 - R/V L'Atalante-GRACO cruise; Gulf of Cadiz depositional systems (Spain)

  • Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences - School of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, UK (2015 – present)
  • Lecturer in Earth Sciences – School of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, UK (2007 – 2015)
  • Research Fellow - at the Hellenic Centre of Marine Research, Athens (2006)
  • Postdoctoral Associate – EUROpean Deep-water Margins (EURODOM) project (EU), 2004-2006 (based at the Hellenic Centre of Marine Research, Athens)·          
  • Postdoctoral Associate – Geological and Mining Institute (Lisbon, Portugal), Marine Geology Department (2002-2003) 
  • PhD – Basin Analysis and Petroleum Geology, University of Manchester, UK (2002)
  • BSc – Engineering Geology (5 years), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (1992-1997)

Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

  • Geological Society of London
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • Geological Association of Canada

Pwyllgorau ac adolygu

  • Deputy Leader for International Recruitment and Impact - School of Earth and Ocean Sciences (2017-)
  • Deputy Research Leader at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences (2016-17)
  • Member of the Awards Committee - Geological Society of London
  • PhD examiner - Manchester (x2), Leeds (x2), Keele, UCL, Plymouth, University of Western Australia, Aberdeen and Royal Holloway-University of London. MSc Examiner (Bergen)
  • Proposal reviewer for the NSF (USA), NERC (UK), DFG (Germany), Irish Research Council (Ireland), Environment and Conservation Fund (Hong Kong).






















  • Petroleum Geology and Basin Analysis (3rd year) - Module leader
  • Advanced Stratigraphy and Sedimentology (3rd year) - Module leader
  • Engineering Geology (3rd year, teaching Reservoir Engineering)
  • Structural Techniques field trip (2nd year): N Spain
  • MESci field trip to SE Spain
  • Completed Modules 1, 2 and 3 of Cardiff's PCUTL - Postgraduate Certificate in University  Teaching and Learning in 2009.

I lead the 3D Seismic Lab, supervising postgraduate students and managing research projects with industry, academia and governmental institutions. I am closely involved in the supervision of PhD and MESci students at Cardiff, collaborating actively with Total, Statoil, Petrobras (Brazil), Husky Energy, Repsol and Partex Oil and Gas in Industry-related projects under the general theme of continental margins and basin analysis. I also collaborate with the IODP – Integrated Ocean Drilling Program in a number of projects, namely in Japan, Brazil and in USA's northeast margin. At present, my current key research areas include East Canada (Newfoundland, Labrador and W Greenland), the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (Crete and Levantine Basin), West Iberia (Portugal, Spain), NW Africa (Morocco and Canary Islands), UK and Norway, South China Sea (China), Ceará, Pernambuco, Santos and Espírito Santo Basins (SE Brazil), the Amazon Fan and Equatorial Brazil (South America), the Nankai Trough (SE Japan), New Zealand, Australia, West Africa (Angola, Nigeria, Namibia), Gulf of Mexico and Alaska (USA).

Postgraduate Supervision (completed PhD theses)

Davide Gamboa, PhD (2012) - Young Scientist Award 2012 (Geol Soc. London) - Now at BGS-Wales

Ricardo Pereira, PhD (2013) - Now at PDO Oman

Duarte Soares, PhD (2014) - Now at CGG in Llandudno

Kamal'deen Omosanya, PhD (2014) - Now at NTNU-Trondheim (Norway)

Aldina Piedade, PhD (2016) - Now at University of Coimbra and ISCIA (Portugal)

Qin Yongpeng, PhD (2017) - Now at Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering (China)

Wei Li, PhD (2017, supervised at Uni Kiel, Germany) - Now at the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Guangzhou (China)

Nathalia Mattos, PhD (2017) - Fault reactivation and salt tectonics

Second supervisor for Daniel Carruthers (PhD on fault families on the flanks of diapirs), Bledyn Jones (KESS PhD scholarship on CO2 sequestration), and Chris Kirkham (Mud Volcanoes in the Nile Delta)

MESci theses

Adam Curtis, MESci (2008) - Geometry of channel-fill deposits

Sean Bale, MEsci (2012) - 3rd place at NEFTEX's Earth Model Award (2012) - Gas hydrate dstribution in SE Japan

Phalene Gowling, MESci (2013) - Recognising fluid flow features in SE Brazil

Katherine Jawed, MESci (2013) - Salt tectonics in the Dutch North Sea

James Van Tuyl, MESci (2014) - Normal faulting in the Nankai accretionary prism (SE Japan)

Ben Thomas, MESci (2014) - Crestal faults of salt diapirs in the North Sea

Claire Elliot, MESci (2014) - The Atlantic break-up sequence in the North Sea

Sarah Newnes, MESci (2014) - Structural compartmentalisation of Rotliegend strata (Permian)

Victoria Howarth (2015) - Fluid flow through carbonate shelves

Bethany Cowling (2016) - Fault compartmentalisation of Posidonia Shales in the Southern North Sea

Charles Reynolds (2017) - Igneous intrusions in salt-rich basins

Current PhD supervision:

Tao Ze - Evolution of crestal faults on salt diapirs

Nicholas Ward - Differential compaction in sedimentary basins

James van Tuyl - Evolution of carbonate shelves in NW Australia

Marco Azevedo - Structural evolution of Nankai's accretionary prism

Tomas Cupkovic - Evolution of N Atlantic rift basins

Chantelle Roesleff - Fluid flow in sedimentary basins

Olivia Walker - Jurassic ocean gateways of the North Atlantic

Roberto Espejel - Structural controls on carbonate-platform growth

Jing Song - Structural controls on submarine slope instability

Cerys Biancardi - Slope instability in salt-rich basins

Goruchwyliaeth gyfredol

Song Jing

Research student

Cerys Biancardi

Cerys Biancardi

Research student

Olivia Walker

Olivia Walker

Research student

Roberto Loza Espejel

Roberto Loza Espejel

Research student

Marco Azevedo

Marco Azevedo

Research student

Chantelle Roelfse

Ms Chantelle Roelofse

Research student

Abubakar Maunde

Research student

Impact to Industry

My research impact is based on the analysis of a wide range of data on continental margins around the world to highlight the economic benefits of drilling specific stratigraphic sequences and structures. My work has led to improved planning models developed by the industry, helping their decision-making process, staff training, and allowing a sustainable management of proven and potential resources.

Work at Cardiff’s 3D Seismic Laboratory develops key studies of multiple areas in the world, allowing the delivery of technical reports, presentations, and field training courses to Industry. The insights provided by Cardiff have led to widespread changes in exploration strategies for the companies sponsoring the 3D Seismic Laboratory, building upon the successful REF2014 CAPROCKS case study.

To date, my research undertaken has resulted in economic benefits of several millions of pounds for companies operating in multiple parts of the world.

Environmental and societal impacts

Environmental studies concerning hydrocarbon-bearing regions, and areas posed for GeoEnergy solutions, are another facet of my work. In the past eight years I have been involved in projects investigating the impact of oil spills in the Eastern Mediterranean (NEREIDs) and a broader analyses of marine polution, including plastic and floating debris, in coastal and marine areas of Europe (Sea4All). The deliverables resulting from Sea4All are now being implemented in classrooms across Europe.

In terms of my contribution to research and the society as a whole, I am a Section Editor in Structural Geology/Tectonics for Marine and Petroleum Geology and have been given the accolade of Oustanding Reviewer and Sustained Reviewer for Marine Geology in four consecutive years (2014/15 to 2018/19). I am also an assiduous reviewer for more than 20 international scientific journals, including Geology, Earth Science-Reviews and Nature Publication Group journals.

Sample publication list

Alves, T.M. et al. 2020. A tectono-stratigraphic review of continental breakup on intraplate continental margins and its impact on resultant hydrocarbon systems. Marine and Petroleum Geology 117, article number: 104341.(10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2020.104341)

Roelofse, C. et al. 2019. An integrated geological and GIS-based method to assess caprock risk in mature basins proposed for Carbon Capture and Storage. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 80, pp. 103-122. (10.1016/j.ijggc.2018.11.007)

Van Tuyl, J. et al. 2019. Geomorphological evidence of carbonate build-up demise on equatorial margins: A case study from offshore northwest Australia. Marine and Petroleum Geology 104, pp. 125-149. (10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2019.03.006)

Alves, T.M. and Abreu Cunha, T. 2018. A phase of transient subsidence, sediment bypass and deposition of regressive-transgressive cycles during the breakup of Iberia and Newfoundland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 484, pp. 168-183. (10.1016/j.epsl.2017.11.054)

Alves, T.M.et al. 2016. Multidisciplinary oil spill modeling to protect coastal communities and the environment of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Scientific Reports 6, article number: 36882. (10.1038/srep36882)

Ward, N., Alves, T. M. and Blenkinsop, T.G. 2016. Reservoir leakage along concentric faults in the Southern North Sea: implications for the deployment of CCS and EOR techniques. Tectonophysics 690(A), pp. 97-116. (10.1016/j.tecto.2016.07.027)

Alves, T.M. 2015. Submarine slide blocks and associated soft-sediment deformation in deep-water basins: A review. Marine and Petroleum Geology 67, pp. 262-285. (10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.05.010)