School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences

Steven Nairn




I am a 3rd year PhD student and below is an introduction to my current research interests

PhD Research project:

Testing alternative models of continental collision in Central Turkey by an integrated study of the sedimentology, provenance and tectonic setting of Late Cretaceous-Early Cenozoic syn-tectonic sedimentary basins.

 Supervised by;

Prof. AHF Robertson (Edinburgh University)

Dr. Mark Hempton (Shell Exploration)

Prof. Dr. Ulvi Can Ünlügenc (Çukurova Univeristy, Adana, Turkey)

Central Turkey is situated in the Mesozoic/Cenozoic Alpine-Himalayan mountain chain, which sutures Gondwana-derived fragments with Eurasian continental crust. Central Anatolia is a key region to study the interaction of tectonic plates in a collisional setting. The area has been subject to numerous processes involving the movement of small continental micro-plates, retreating subduction systems, back-arc extension and the accretion of magmatic arcs. There are a variety of tectonic units which are well exposed including accretionary prisms, ophiolites, magmatic arc rocks, forearc-type sedimentary basins and an inferred microcontinent. In this region, northern Neo-Tethys rifted in the early Mesozoic between Gondwana-related units in the south (Anatolide-Tauride continent) and Eurasian-related continental margin units in the north (Pontide zone). This ocean was subducted northwards during Mesozoic-Early Cenozoic time. Key to understanding microplate assembly in central Anatolia is a study of its Late Cretaceous-Middle Eocene sedimentary basins. They are syn-collisional and record the assembly of several tectonic elements of the region; i.e. the Ankara Mélange - a subduction/accretion complex, the Eurasian continental margin and the Niğde-Kırşehir Massif - an inferred microcontinent.The aim of this PhD is to test existing models of collision and, if necessary, develop a new one.

Key references:

Gürer & Aldanmaz 2002. Origin of the Upper Cretaceous—Tertiary sedimentary basins within the Tauride—Anatolide platform in Turkey
Koçyiğit 1991. An example of an accretionary forearc basin from northern central Anatolia and its implications for the history of subduction of Neo-Tethys in Turkey
Robertson & Dixon 1984. Introduction: aspects of the geological evolution of the eastern Mediterranean
Şengör & Yılmaz 1981 Tethyan evolution of Turkey: A plate tectonic approach

Geological CV

2006 - present  PhD in Geology

Selected published abstracts;

Nairn, S., Robertson, A.H.F. and Ünlügenç, U.C. (2009 April) Sedimentary cover of the Ankara Mélange: role of the Upper Cretaceous - Middle Eocene Kırıkkale Basin, central Anatolia. (Paper presented at the 62nd Geological Congress of Turkey, MTA, Ankara, Turkey)

View abstract

Nairn, S., Robertson, A.H.F. Hempton, M. and Ünlügenç, U.C. (December 2008) Tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Late Cretaceous – Middle Eocene Haymana sedimentary Basin, central Anatolia, Turkey. (Paper presented at BSRG, Liverpool University, UK)

View abstract

2002 - 2006 First Class BSc (Hons) in Geology - University of Edinburgh

Final Year Dissertation: The geology of the Carneddau in the Builth-Llandrindod Ordovician Inlier, Powys, Wales

Prizes and Awards:

Tectonics Study Group prize for best undergraduate mapping dissertation

Palaeontological Association prize for best undergraduate performance in palaeontology

Professional Experience:

3 PhD field trips to central Anatolia, Turkey: This involved the gathering of much geological data including: measuring detailed stratigraphic logs, palaeocurrents, kinematic fault measurements, describing and collecting lithological and palaeontological samples.

Analytical techniques: XRF, XRD, provenance studies of sandstones, petrographic descriptions and fault kinematics

Field trip demonstrator: Cyprus (2007, 2008), Holyrood Park (2007)

Lab demonstrator: Mineralogy and Petrology, History of Life, Structural Geology

Lecturer: Sediment gravity flows (grain flows, turbidity currents, debris flows)