Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Reader in Geotectonics



+44 (0)20 7594 6465l.lonergan Website




2.51Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





  • Salt Tectonics in the Alps
  • Fold growth in the Caspian Sea
  • Gravity driven deformation and associated sedimentary systems on passive margins.
  • Formation of the South Atlantic rifted margin.
  • Formation and tectonics- Sichuan Basin, China
  • Deformation in sedimentary basins: insights from 3D seismic interpretation.
  • Polygonal fault systems in mudrocks and  compaction of mudrocks
  • Shale tectonics 
  • Fractured carbonates and fluid flow
  • Quaternary ice sheets in the North Sea Basin; subglacial tunnel valleys. 
  • Remobilization and injection of sand.

Current PhD students

Adam Lajos Csicsek (2017-) “The effects of Salt Tectonics in the evolution of a Fold and Thrust belt” NERC Oil and Gas CDT funding co supervised with Rod Graham. October 2017-

Samuel Brooke-Barnett (2017-) “The effects of Salt Tectonics in the evolution of a Fold and Thrust belt”; Imperial College President’s Scholarship; co-supervised with Rod Graham. 

Andrew Proctor (2017-). “Fold growth in the South Caspian Sea Basin: Mechanisms and interaction with deep-water lacustrine sediments”. NERC Oil and Gas CDT funding; co supervised with Mike Mayall and Simon Grant (BP). November 2017-

Zsófia Zalai (2018-) “Magmatism and Continental Breakup in the South Atlantic” Imperial College President’s Scholarship. Co-supervised with Jenny Collier and Gareth Roberts; October 2018-

Habibah Mat-Yusoff (2019-). “Fluvial-Coastal Plain Depositional Systems in the Sarawak Basin: Analysis of Shallow 3D Seismic Data of Plio-Pleistocene Rivers on the Central Luconia Shelf”. Malaysian Government Scholarship. Co-supervised with Howard Johnson and Alex Whittaker;  January 2019-

Former PhD students

Hamish Mitchell: 2021.Sediment pathways across intra-slope basins – optimal reservoir prediction and trapping potential. NERC Oil and Gas CDT funding, with data from PGS. Co-supervised with Mike Mayall, Alex Whittaker. 

Marco Pizzi: 2019. Predicting slope reservoir distribution and quality through quantification of tectonic influence and autocyclic processes. NERC Oil and Gas CDT funding, with data from PGS. Co-supervised with Mike Mayall and Alex Whittaker. Now works for Furgo.

Carl McDermott: 2018. Magmatism and breakup in the South Atlantic. Imperial College Janet Watson Scholarship with research funding from IonGeo. Co-superivsed with Jenny Collier and Paul Bellingham (IonGeo). Now works for Exxon.

Xiaoguang Wang: 2016. Bulk properties of fracture networks in carbonates for multi-scale flow modelling. Total Grant. Co-supervised with Oliver Gosselin, John Cosgrove, Gerard Massonat (Total) and Herve Jourde (Université Montpellier II); now works as Post-Doc at Université Montpellier II

Pedro A. Galindo: 2015. Tectonics and basin formation, offshore Colombia, Caribbean Sea. Colciencias Scholarship, Colombian Government.Now works for Ecopetrol

Gemma Jones: 2014. The influence of fold and salt-wall growth on deepwater sedimentary systems in an active salt mini-basin, offshore Angola. NERC Case award with BP. Now works for BP.

Byami Jolly: 2014. The interaction between deepwater channel systems and growing thrusts and folds, toe-thrust region of the deepwater Niger Delta. PTDF Nigerian ScholarCo-supervised with Alex Whittaker; Now lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.

Grace Cairns: 2012. The Feasiblity of using Seismic Monitoring for Leakage at CO2 Storage Sites; Co Supervised with Helmut Jakubowicz, and Ann Muggeridge; Now works for BP.

Margaret Stewart: 2009. 3D Seismic Analysis of Pleistocene Tunnel Valleys in the Central North Sea. Now works with BGS and formerly Neftex Petroleum Consultants.

Ulrike Freitag: 2008. Back-stripping of displacement on normal growth faults (co-supervised with David Sanderson) . Now works with Statoil Hydro.

Alistair Graham: 2007. Reconstructing Pleistocene glacial environments in the Central North Sea using 3D seismic and borehole data. (British Geological Survey UCAC studentship; co-supervised with Martyn Stoker, BGS). Lecturer University of Exeter since 2013; previously worked as research scientist at the British Antarctic Survey.

Robert Leckenby; 2005. Characterisation and modelling of 3-dimensional fracture networks for enhanced recovery from reservoirs (NERC industrial Case with Golder Associate; co-supervised with David Sanderson). Now works with Oryxk Petroleum (Formerly Addax), Switzerland.

Jorge Acosta, April 2002. Structural Evolution of the Middle Magdalena Valley, Colombia. (co-supervised with Mike Coward). Now works with Pedevesa, in Venezuela.

Dustin Lister, October 2001. Computational techniques for analysing polygonal fault systems  (co-supervised with Joe Cartwright). Now works for Schlumberger.

Nick Lee, September 2001. The nature and origin of injected sands associated with deep-water sandstones. (co-supervised with Howard Johnson). Now works for British Gas.

Steve Molyneux, March 2001. Sandstone remobilisation in the Eocene to Mio-Pliocene of the Central and Northern North Sea. (Co-supervised with Joe Cartwright).

Pui Leng Tay,  April 1999, Upper crustal velocity and structures from surface seismics: applications to the Mediterranean Ridge and West Orkney Basins. systems.  (co-supervised with Mike Warner). Now works with Horizon EP after 5 years with Shell.


PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development (RIPED) “Formation and evolution of intra-cratonic rift from Late Sinian to Early Cambrian in the Sichuan Basin, South China” PI L. Lonergan; Researcher Dr Gu Zhidong (Petrochina). £146,000 and additionally secondment of researcher to Imperial College (1/6/2017-31/5/2019).

Woodside Energy: Integrated dynamic pressure, fluid property, fluid chemistry, reservoir architecture study of the Rankin Trend gas fields. Post Doctoral Project’ PI Professor Ann Muggeridge; Co-I L. Lonergan; PDRA: Jason Go; ; £146,000 (09/2013-08/2014)

Total E&P "Bulk properties of fracture networks in carbonates for multi-scale flow modelling" £140,000 With Professors Olivier Gosselin, John Cosgrove; G. Massonnat (Total) and Hervé Jourde (University Montpellier II) (1/10/2012-30/9/2015)

Nerc CASE award with BP. Full PhD funding with research funds. "The influence of active salt tectonics on the development of deepwater slope channel and canyon systems."  (10/2010-10/2013)

Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation Joint Industry Grant with REPSOL. €180,000. "Evaluating shale diapirism in petroleum exploration: in the diapric provinces of the Alboran and Caspian Seas".  PI Juan Soto Granada University; Co-Is: F. Nieto Garcia, A. Hernandez Laguna, F. Fernández Ibáñez; (Granada University); Lidia Lonergan. Jan 2010-March 2012.

Landmark Graphics University Grant $222 Million - Software grant for seismic  processing, interpretation and visualization software (06/2010-06/2013 and renewed 2013 for further 3 years).  (with M. Warner)

BP Exploration £100,000 Structural evolution and depositional systems, deepwater Gulf of Mexico.(08/2006-08/2008)

 Landmark Graphics University Grant $55 Million - Software grant for seismic  processing, interpretation and visualization software (08/2007-08/2010  (with M. Warner).

 British Geological Survey UCAC grant for PhD Studentship; £23,950. “Reconstructing Pleistocene ice limits in the Central North Sea: implications for climate change” (1/10/03-30/9/06)


Dr Simon Grant, Dr Stephen Dee; Greg Reilly, BP Exploration, Caspian, 2018

Jean-Paul Callot, University of Pau, Salt tectonics SW Alps, 2017

Jean-Claude Ringenbach, Total, Salt Tectonics SW Alps, 2017

Dr Hervé Jourde, Université Montpellier 2

Prof. Juan Ignacio Soto, University of Granada

Dr Gary Hampson

Professor Johnson

Dr Ann Muggeridge

Professor Olivier Gosselin, Imperial College /Total, Fractures and Fluid Flow

Guest Lectures

Invited keynote speaker on “ Seismic attributes and their use in interpreting structural and sedimentological relationships in sedimentary basins" 2016 International Seismix Symposium; May 2016, Scotland., International Seismix Symposium, Aviemore Scotland, 2016