Professor Conall Mac Niocaill

Professor of Earth Sciences

TEL: +44 (0)1865 282135
FAX: +44 (1865) 272072

Research Profile


With a background in Geology and Geophysics I have a broad range of research interests. These range from the kinematics of past plate motions, and the relationships between these motions and tectonic events in the geological past, the development of oroclines during orogenesis, and the secular behaviour of the Earth's magnetic field on various timescales. The link between these diverse interests is that they integrate results, models and ideas from a range of subdisciplines in understanding the large-scale behaviour of the Earth. Some recent and current research topics include:

  • Long term rates of deformation in the continental crust.
  • Tectonic and Palaeogeographic evolution of the Appalachian-Caledonian Mountain belt.
  • Neoproterozoic Glacial Intervals and Plate reconstructions.
  • Geochronology of Large Igneous Provinces.
  • Geomagnetic excursions.
  • True Polar Wander.

Teaching Profile

1st Year - Fundamentals of Geology
1st Year - Planet Earth
2nd Year - Geophysics
4th Year - Records of Major Environmental Change
4th Year - Rock-, Environmental-, and Palaeomagnetism

1st Year Field Course to Pembrokshire (4 days)
1st Year Field Course to Arran, Scotland (11 days)
Post Graduate Field Course (CETL programme) (5 days)

Selected Publications

  • Dawber, C.F., Tripati, A.K., Gale, A.S., Mac Niocaill, C., & Hesselbo, S.P. 2011.  Glacioeustasy during the middle Eocene? Insights form the Stratigraphy of the Hampshire Basin, UK.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 300, 84-100.  doi:10.1016.j.palaeo.2010.12.012
  • Iosifidi, A., Mac Niocaill, C., Khramov, A., Dekkers, M, & Popov, V. 2010. Palaeogeographical implications of differential inclination shallowing in Permo-Carboniferous sediments of the Donets Basin, Ukraine. Tectonophysics, 490, 229-240. doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2010.05.017
  • Paterson, G.A., Roberts, A.P., Mac Niocaill, C., Muxworthy, A.R., Gurioli, L., Viramonte, J.G., Navarro, C., & Weider, S. 2010.  Palaeomagnetic determination of emplacement temperatures of pyroclastic deposits: an underutilised tool.  Bulletin of Volcanology, 79, 309-330. doi:10.1007/s00445-00900324-4 .
  • Paterson, G.A., Muxworthy, A.R., Roberts, A.P., & Mac Niocaill, C. 2010.  Assessment of the usefulness of Lithic Clasts from Pyroclastic deposits for Paleointensity determination.  Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1029/2009/JB006475
  • Jay, A.E., Mac Niocaill, C., Widdowson, M., Self, S., & Turner, W. 2009.  New palaeomagnetic data from the Mahabaleshwar Plateau, Deccan Flood Basalt Province, India: implications for the volcanostratigraphic architecture of continental flood basalt provinces.  Journal of the Geological Society, London., 166, 13-24. doi: 10.1144/0016-76492007-150.
  • Gernon, T.M., Fontana, G., Field, M., Sparks, R.S.J., Brown, R.J., & Mac Niocaill, C. 2009.  Pyroclastic flow deposits from a Kimberlite eruption: The Orapa South Crater, Botswana. Lithos, 112S, 566-578, doi:10.1016/j.lithos.2009.014.016
  • Rotman, R., Naylor, L., McDonnell, R., & Mac Niocaill, C.  2008.  Sediment transport on the Freiston Shore Managed Realignment Site: an investigation using environmental magnetism Geomorphology, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.12.006
  • Knudsen, M.F., Henderson, G.M., Frank, M., Mac Niocaill, C., & Kubik, P.  2008.  In-phase anomalies in Beryllium-10 production and palaeomagnetic field behaviour during the Iceland Basin geomagnetic excursion Earth and Planetary Science Letters, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2007.10.051 [PDF]
  • Knudsen, M.F., Henderson, G.M., Mac Niocaill, C., & West, A.J.  2007.  Seven Thousand Year duration for a geomagnetic excursion constrained by 230Thxs. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L22302. doi:10.1029/2007GL031090. [PDF]
  • Porreca, M., Mattei, M., Mac Niocaill, C., Giordano, G., McCleland, E., & Funicello, R.  2007.  Paleomagnetic evidence for low-temperature emplacement of the phreatomagmatic Peperino Albano ignimbrite (Colli Albano volcano, Central Italy). Bulletin of Volcanology, doi:10.1007/s00445-007-0176-8.
  • Barke, R., Lamb, S.H., & Mac Niocaill, C.  2007.  Late Cenozoic bending of the Bolivian Andes: New palaeomagnetic and kinematic constraints. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, doi:10.1029/2006JB004372. [PDF]
  • Knudsen, M.F., Mac Niocaill, C., & Henderson, G.M.  2006.  High-resolution data of the Iceland Basin geomagnetic excursion from ODP sites 1063 and 983: existence of intense flux patches during the excursion? Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 251, 18-32 doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2006.08.016. [PDF]
  • Kilner, B., Mac Niocaill, C., & Brasier, M.D.  2005.  Low-latitude Glaciation in the Neoproterozoic of Oman. Geology, 33, 413-416, doi: 10.1130/G21227. [PDF]

view Extended Publications

Published Books

  • Mac Niocaill, C., & Ryan P.D. (eds) 1999. Continental Tectonics.  Geological Society of London Special Publication, 164. 350pp.

Other Information

I am also the Giuseppe Vernazza Lecturer in Earth Sciences at Exeter College

I am the department's field teaching coordinator, and Field Safety Officer.