School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


Hannah Suttill

I'm a 2nd year research student in the Grant Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Edinburgh working on the 'Sedimentology and Structure during growth of the Balkan Fold-and-Thrust belt in Eastern Bulgaria', supervised by Professor John Underhill & Dr Hugh Sinclair with Richard Bunt & James Peck of Melrose Resources Ltd.

Follow the link to see a recent poster produced for the School of GeoSciences 2nd year PhD presentations...*Research Summary Poster*

I've also recently done a period of work on the evolution of glacial lakes along the Upper Indus River Valley in Ladakh in the Himalayas - please check out the "sabbatical research" page on the left.

To email me, please use the link at the bottom of this page.


2006 Graduate School Talk Abstract

Development of the Balkan Fold-and-Thrust Belt Retro-Thrust wedge: evidence from the Western Black Sea and Eastern Bulgaria

Mountain belts are inherently asymmetric, defined by the sense of subduction.  The resultant orogen can be divided into a pro- and retro-wedge with the retro-wedge overlying the overthrust plate.  Modelling suggests that retro-wedges and their neighbouring foreland basins have very specific controls on orogen development that have not previously been recognised.

This study on the Balkan Mountains is synthesising data from 3D seismic surveys and core from the Western Black Sea, with outcrop fieldwork in Eastern Bulgaria, to investigate orogenic and petroleum systems development during orogenic evolution.  In addition to thorough basin analysis, it will be possible to obtain high resolution timings of thrusting and associated sedimentation through a combination of sequence stratigraphy, sedimentological study and biostratigraphy.  The high quality and availability of data is unique for this tectonic setting and will potentially provide insight into other retro-wedge systems such as the Aquitaine Basin.

The east-west trending Balkans are the collisional product of the late Mesozoic/early Cenozoic Alpine Orogeny.  Situated north of the deformation front, the Stara Planina Frontal Thrust, and south of the Moesian Platform, is the Palaeocene-Mid Eocene, deep-water Dolna-Kamchia Basin.  These components together comprise the retro-thrust wedge and foreland basin of the Hellenide-Balkan belt, situated on the overthrust plate of the northerly-plunging Eurasian-Anatolian subduction zone.  Subsequent to the growth of the Balkans, the extensional opening of the Black Sea by end Miocene transected the E-W trending fold-and-thrust belt structures by a series of N-S trending normal faults.  Consequently, the well-exposed Bulgarian coastline is oriented perpendicular to strike of the Balkans thus providing an ideal opportunity for detailed onshore study across the entire retro-wedge.




     2001 - 2005    University of Edinburgh, First Class B.Sc. Honours in Geology
     1994 - 2001    Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle, Lincolnshire
                             4 A levels at A grade (2001), GCE Geography Special Paper (distinction), 10 GCSEs (1999)

Academic Awards

     2005 Honours Geology class medal
     2005 Departmental Prize for mapping project
     2005 Institute of Earth Science Prize for Cyprus field notebook
     2004 Palaeontological Association Undergraduate Award
     2001 Royal Geographical Society Award for Excellence in Geographical Learning

Work Experience

     - June to September 2005 - BP Geoscience Internship (Aberdeen)
     Project on fault seal analysis in the Schiehallion and Foinaven Fields, UKCS.
     - April 2001 to September 2003 - geological/technical assistant (during vacations)
     Badley Ashton & Associates Ltd., Winceby House, Winceby, Horncastle, Lincolnshire
     (seconded to Badley Ashton America Inc., Houston, Texas; August/September 2003)
     - July/August 2003 - preparation of spray dried rock samples for XRD analysis
     Dr Gavin England (postdoctoral researcher), University of Edinburgh