Dr Ian Kane


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I'm a geologist interested in how sediment, including mineral grains, organic fragments and anthropogenic material (such as microplastic), is moved across Earth’s surface and where it ends up. My main focus is on deep-marine environments which are the ultimate sinks for much of this sediment.

My PhD (Leeds, 2007) was on submarine channel-levee systems which I investigated with fieldwork examining the Cretaceous deep-marine strata of Baja California, Mexico, and flume-tank modelling of turbidity currents. After a 3 yr post-doc on various sedimentological projects I worked as a research scientist with Equinor from 2010-2015.

I lead SedResQ - we work on a range of topics broadly revolving around the transport of sediments from terrestrial environments to the coast and their transfer into deep-marine basins; a central theme is the linkage of gravity-driven sedimentological processes to the deposition of natural and anthropogenic sediments and their preservation in the stratigraphic record.

I am currently Editor-in Chief of the journal Sedimentology

Current research includes:

SCaMPi: Exploring the distribution of microplastic particles on the seafloor as part of the SCaMPi (Seafloor Currents and Microplastics Investigation) project in collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre and Durham University.

LOBE: Investigating deep-marine lobes and sediment gravity flow processes using various outcrops around the world, in collaboration with Imperial College and University of Leeds.

SLOPE: Studying submarine slope processes using a combination of fieldwork in Baja California, Mexico, and experimental and theoretical modelling techniques.


Recent Masters projects on microplastics:

Edward Keavney (2019): Microplastic contamination in the Liverpool Bay and Mersey Estuary: sedimentological constraints on distribution and concentration

Ginevra Oertel (2020): Abundance and Characteristics of Microplastic Particles in The Surface Water of The River Etherow, UK: Environmental Factors, Ecotoxicity and Implications for Plastic Waste Management

Annie Dowse (2021): Plastic Rain in a National Park: an investigation into the atmospheric transport and deposition of microplastics in the Peak District, UK

Current PhD Students:

Nur Azeyanti Binti Norhashim (supervisors: Drs Holly Shiels - lead, Ian Kane, Adam Stevens, Cyrill Bussy): Microplastics in shallow marine environments: distribution and ecotoxicological effects on benthic fauna

Isaac Odeh (based at Imperial College, lead supervisor Prof Chris Jackson). Deep-water sedimentary systems around active salt diapirs.

Zoë Cumberpatch (funded by NERC CDT);  co-supervised by Prof Chris Jackson (Imperial), Prof Dave Hodgson (Leeds) and Dr Ben Kilhams. Discerning halokinetic from autocyclic sequences in deep-marine sedimentary systems – the Bakio salt diapir.

Ander Martinez-Donate Gomez; co-supervised by Prof Chris Jackson (Imperial), Prof Dave Hodgson (Leeds). Working on submarine lobe deposits in the Neuquén Basin, Argentina, and using flume tank modelling to understand turbidity current processes.

Ashley Ayckbourne (funded by NERC CDT); lead supervisor: Dr Rhodri Jerrett. Controls of mass wasting on sedimentation processes and heterogeneity in slope mudstone reservoirs.

Lauren Clarehugh (co-supervised by Mads Huuse, Dave Hodgson, Paul Spencer). Controls on clastic injectites from the Palaeogene of the Norwegian Continental Shelf and the Vocontian Basin, S. France.

Max Bouwmeester (co-supervised By Steve Flint and Dave Hodgson). Submarine conduits are long term sediment routing systems.

Based in Leeds:

Will Taylor, Lead supervisor Prof Dave Hodgson: Modelling the sedimentology, and stratigraphic architecture of submarine channel margin systems

Based at Imperial College:

Timothy Wigan, Lead supervisor Prof Chris Jackson: subsurface analysis of deep-marine lobe systems.

Completed Students:

Jochem Bijkerk: (2015) University of Leeds/BGS. Lead Supervisor Prof. Paul Wignall. Glacio-eustatic controls on sedimentary sequences: a field and physical modelling based study.

Sarah Southern: (2015) University of Leeds. Lead Supervisor Prof. Bill McCaffrey. Slope to basin evolution of a turbidite system in a bathymetrically restricted basin, Carboniferous, UK.

Larissa Hansen: (2017) University of Aberdeen. Lead Supervisor Prof Ben Kneller: Submarine channel-related thin bedded turbidites

Dan Bell: (2019) Co-supervised by Prof Steve Flint and Anna Pontén). Prediction of reservoir properties from processes and architecture in deep-water clastic systems. 

Jefferson Nwoko: (2020) (co-supervised by Prof Mads Huuse). Large-scale mass transport deposits and complexes: formative processes and their role in sediment gravity flow routing. Insights from the Taranaki Basin, offshore New Zealand.

Euan Soutter (2020) (funded by NERC CDT; co-supervised by Prof Mads Huuse) Deep-marine reservoir heterogeneity in steep-sided minibasins – influence of basin physiography on sedimentological processes and basin-fill character. 

Ross Ferguson (2020) (co-supervised by Drs Rufus Brunt, Joris Eggenhuisen (Utrecht), Ole Martinsen, Edwin Schomacker and Simon Barker). Deep-marine channel evolution: basin-ward propagation of submarine slope channels.

Arne Fuhrmann (2020) (co-supervised by Drs Rufus Brunt, Ole Martinsen, Edwin Schomacker and Simon Barker). Allogenic vs autogenic controls on reservoir distribution and quality in deep-marine channel systems.




External positions

Editor-in-Chief, Sedimentology, International Association of Sedimentologists

1 Jun 2018 → …

Areas of expertise

Research Networks and Beacons

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