Principal Investigator:

Dr. Alexander L. Peace (Mini bio)

  • Research interests include: tectonics, structural geology, magmatism, petroleum geology, sedimentary basins, seismic interpretation and potential-field studies.

  • I am always seeking new collaborations and opportunities with industry, academia and government so please get in touch.

BSc Thesis Students 2019-2020:

Evangeline Ng

Project title: Style, controls, and distribution of rift-related faulting in the southern North Sea

Emma Keefe

Project title: Style, controls, and distribution of rift-related faulting in the northern North Sea

Evangeline and Emma are both be working on projects related to the geological evolution of the North Sea. The North Sea is located between Norway to the east, the UK to the west, and the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, France and Germany to the south. This rift basin represents part a failed branch of the Arctic-North Atlantic rift system, that formed via multiple phases of rifting producing a structurally complex region.

These research projects aim to provide new understanding of rift development in the North Sea. In particular, the projects will look at the structural evolution of rift-related faulting by mapping out fault networks and will discuss connectivity between fault segments. Specific attention is being paid to the role of salt tectonics in the regional development.

This will be achieved through interpretation of subsurface seismic data provided by the Oil and Gas Authority in the UK, a relatively new dataset. Interpretation will primarily be conducted in Petrel, and potentially other software such as MOVE and GPlates. In addition, gravity and magnetic data will be used to constrain the interpretation.

BSc Thesis Students 2020-2021:

Serena Formenti

Project title: Control of fracture distribution, style and orientation on stability of the Hamilton escarpment

This project is being co-supervised by Dr. Carolyn Eyes, and will involve mapping fractures on the Hamilton Escarpment, which is a highly fractured outcrop that is susceptible to collapses. As such, we are interested in studying the stability and how this is influenced by fractures.

Arden McPhail

Project title: Seismic interpretation of Rockall Basin

During the opening of the North Atlantic voluminous igneous rocks were emplaced on the continental margins. This project will look at the distribution of these occurrences in the Rockall Basin using seismic reflection data.

Olivia Filson

Project title: GPlates deformable plate tectonic modelling of rifts and ocean basins

Many plate tectonic models of rifts assume that plates are rigid and therefore don’t fully account for rift-related deformation. As such, this project will build a new style of deformable plate models using GPlates 2 that better represent rift-related deformation at the crustal scale.

BSc Independent study Students 2020-2021:

Riah Mongrain // Sarah Beney

Project title: Petrology of Newfoundland rift-related igenous rocks

During the rifting and opening of the southern North Atlantic igneous rocks were produced that may be useful in understanding the rift process. As such, this project will undertake detailed petrological description of rift-related rocks from Newfoundland.

Prospective Students

I am currently seeking applications for fully funded MSc and PhD projects. Details of potential projects can be found here. Prospective students are encouraged to send a brief email ( explaining your academic background and research interests.

There is also the opportunity for undergraduates to participate in work with the group through McMaster Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA), or through BSc thesis projects.

Further details of deadlines and the application process for prospective students can be found at the following: