Dr. Micha Ruhl

Dr. Micha Ruhl

Visiting Fellow
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 272062

Postdoctoral Research Associate:

Integrated Stratigraphy/ Sedimentology/ Geochemistry/ Astrochronology

Email: Micha.Ruhl@earth.ox.ac.uk

Research Interests

I am a geologist/palaeoclimatologist, with a background in integrated stratigraphy, (organic) geochemistry and sedimentology, interested in studying deep-time environmental and climatic perturbations and changes in the depositional environment and their link to internal and external forcing mechanisms of the Earth system. I am specifically interested in (1) changes in global geochemical cycles and their link to (major) volcanic events (LIPs) and (global) climatic perturbations, (2) changes in depositional environments on local, regional and global scales and their link to palaeoceanographic and climatic change and the formation of source rocks, (3) astrochronology: understanding relative and numerical (absolute) timing of events observed in sedimentary archives.

Current Research

In the Oxford-Shell Mudrock Observatory project I use organic/inorganic geochemical and sedimentological methods to study Mesozoic sedimentary records often marked by massive carbon burial and often recognized as (global) Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs). In particular I currently work on:

  • The Local and regional, intra-basinal, depositional environment of the Cenomanian-Turonian Eagle Ford Formation (comprising OAE2) and its link to global palaeoceanographic, climatic and volcanic perturbations.
  • The Toarcian OAE in the marine (Mochras-core & Yorkshire coastal sections (UK) and Neuquen Basin (Argentina)) and continental (Sichuan Basin, China) realms, to constrain the global (continental) significance of early Toarcian events observed in the European marine realm.
  • Changes in the local and regional, intra-basinal, depositional environment in the Lower Saxony Basin (Germany), leading to deposition of the Posidonia Shale.
  • Lower and middle Jurassic stratigraphy in the Neuquen Basin, Argentina.
  • Astronomical calibration of the lower Jurassic in the marine and continental realms.
  • Triassic-Jurassic boundary events in European sections and in the Argentinian Neuquen Basin.


  • Nordic Center for Earth Evolution (NordCEE), University of Copenhagen, Denmark (2010-2012)
  • TNO Built, Environment & Geosciences, Netherlands/ Geological Survey of the Netherlands (2010)
  • Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology/ Palaeoecology/ Geochemistry, Utrecht University, Netherlands (2006-2010)


Google Scholar ID:   Dr. Micha Ruhl

Shell – Oxford Research Collaboration:   http://shell.earth.ox.ac.uk/about/


March–April 2016:   Field work in the Neuquen Basin (Argentina), studying Early and Middle Jurassic sedimentary records of (global) climatic and environmental change.


July 2016:   Fieldwork in Breggia Gorge (Switzerland), studying Early Jurassic Toarcian astronomically forced sedimentary records of global climatic change


Peer-reviewed publications:

(Google Scholar: Citations: >800 – H-index: 14 – i10-index: 16)

  1. Hillebrandt, A. v., Krystyn, L., Kürschner, W.M., Bonis, N.R., Ruhl, M., Urlichs, M., with contributions by Bown, P., Kment, K., McRoberts, C., Simms, M., Tomasovych, A. A candidate GSSP for the base of the Jurassic in the Northern Calcareous Alps (Kuhjoch section; Karwendel Mountains, Tyrol, Austria).     International Subcommission on Jurassic Stratigraphy Newsletter 34 (1), 2-20 (2007).
  2. Ruhl, M., Kürschner, W.M., Krystyn, L. Triassic-Jurassic organic carbon isotope stratigraphy of key sections in the western Tethys realm (Austria).     Earth and Planetary Science Letters 281 (3-4): 169-187 (2009).
  3. Deenen, M.H.L., Ruhl, M., Bonis, N.R., Krijgsman, W., Kürschner, W.M., Reitsma, M. and Bergen, M.J. v. A new chronology for the end-Triassic mass extinction.     Earth and Planetary Science Letters 291 (1-4): 113-125 (2010).
  4. Ruhl, M., Veld, H., Kürschner, W.M. Sedimentary organic matter characterization of the Triassic–Jurassic boundary GSSP at Kuhjoch (Austria).     Earth and Planetary Science Letters 292 (1-2): 17-26 (2010).
  5. Bonis, N.R., Ruhl, M. and Kürschner, W.M. Milankovitch-scale palynological turnover across the Triassic-Jurassic transition at St. Audrie’s Bay, SW UK.     Journal of the Geological Society, London 167: 877-888 (2010).
  6. Bonis, N.R., Ruhl, M., Kürschner, W.M. Climate change driven black shale deposition during the end-Triassic in the western Tethys.     Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 290 (1-4): 151-159 (2010).
  7. Ruhl, M., Deenen, M.H.L., Abels, H.A., Bonis, N.R., Krijgsman, W., Kürschner, W.M. Astronomical constraints on the duration of the early Jurassic Hettangian stage and recovery rates following the end-Triassic mass extinction (St. Audrie’s Bay/ East Quantoxhead, UK).     Earth and Planetary Science Letters 295 (1-2): 262-276 (2010).
  8. Deenen, M.H.L., Krijgsman, W., Ruhl, M. The quest for E23r at Partridge Island (Bay of Fundy): CAMP emplacement post-dating the end-Triassic extinction event in Canada.     Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 48, 1282-1291 (2011).
  9. Ruhl, M. & Kürschner, W.M. Multiple phases of carbon-cycle disturbance from Large Igneous Province formation at the Triassic-Jurassic transition.     Geology 39 (5), 431-434 (2011).
  10. Ruhl, M., Bonis N.R., Reichart, G.-J., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Kürschner, W.M. Atmospheric methane injection caused end-Triassic mass extinction.     Science 333, 430 (2011).
  11. Hillebrandt, A.v., Krystyn, L., Kurschner, W.M., Bonis, N.R., Ruhl, M., Richoz, S., Schobben, M. A. N., Urlichs, M., Bown, P.R., Kment, K., McRoberts, C.A., Simms, M., Tomasových, A. The Global Stratotype Sections and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Jurassic System at Kuhjoch (Karwendel Mountains, Northern Calcareous Alps, Tyrol, Austria).     Episodes 36 (3), 162-198 (2013).
  12. Dahl, T.W., Ruhl, M., Hammarlund, E.U., Canfield, D.E., Rosing, M.T., Bjerrum, C.J. Tracing euxinia by molybdenum concentrations in sediments using handheld x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (HHXRF).     Chemical Geology 360–361, 241–251 (2013).
  13. Hesselbo, S. Bjerrum, C.J., Hinnov, L., MacNiocaill, C., Miller, K., Riding, J., Van de Schootbrugge, B. and the Mochras Revisited Science Team. Mochras Revisited: A New Global standard for Early Jurassic Earth History.     Scientific Drilling 16, 81–91 (2013).
  14. Hüsing, S., Beniest, A., van der Boon, A., Deenen, M.H.L. Ruhl, M., Krijgsman, W. Magnetostratigraphy of the Lower Jurassic marine successions at St. Audrie’s Bay and East Quantoxhead (Hettangian-Sinemurian; Somerset, UK).     Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 403, 43–56 (2014).
  15. Ullmann, C., Hesselbo, S., Ruhl, M., Thibault, N, Korte, C. Effect of a Jurassic Oceanic Anoxic Event on belemnite ecology and evolution.     PNAS 111 (28), 10073–10076 (2014).
  16. Percival, L.M.E., Witt, M.L.I., Mather, T.A., Hermoso, M., Jenkyns, H.C., Hesselbo, S.P., Al-Suwaidi, A.H., Storm, M.S., Xu, W., Ruhl, M. Globally enhanced mercury deposition during the end-Pliensbachian extinction and Toarcian OAE: A link to the Karoo–Ferrar Large Igneous Province.     Earth and Planetary Science Letters 428, 267-280 (2015).
  17. Korte, C., Hesselbo, S.P., Ullmann, C.V., Dietl, G., Ruhl, M., Schweigert, G., Thibault, N. Jurassic climate mode governed by ocean gateway.     Nature Communications 6 (10015), doi:10.1038/ncomms10015 (2015).
  18. Jenkyns, H.C., Dickson, A.J., Ruhl, M., Van der Boorn, S. Basalt–seawater interaction, the Plenus Cold Event, enhanced weathering and geochemical change: deconstructing Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (Cenomanian–Turonian, Late Cretaceous).     Sedimentology, in press, doi: 10.1111/sed.12305 (2016).
  19. Robinson, S.A., Ruhl, M.Astley, D.L., Naafs, B.D.A., Farnsworth, A.J., Bown, P.R., Jenkyns, H.C., Lunt, D.J., O’Brien, C., Pancost, R.D., Markwick, P.J. Early Jurassic North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures from TEX86 palaeothermometry.     Sedimentology, in press, doi: 10.1111/sed.12321 (2016).
  20. Xu, W., Ruhl, M., Hesselbo, S.P., Riding, J.B., Jenkyns, H.C., Orbital pacing of Early Jurassic (Sinemurian) carbon-cycle and environmental change as a cause for source-rock formation and seabed methane seepage.     Sedimentology, in press, doi: 10.1111/sed.12329 (2016).
  21. Mette, W., Thibault, N., Krystyn, L., Korte, C., Clemence, M.-E., Ruhl, M., Rizzi, M., Ullmann, C.V., Rhaetian (Late Triassic) biotic and carbon isotope events and intraplatform basin development in the Northern Calcareous, Alps, Tyrol, Austria.     Geo. Alp 13, 233–256 (2016).
  22. Ruhl, M., Hesselbo, S.P., Hinnov, L., Jenkyns, H.C., Xu, Weimu, Riding, J.B., Storm, M., Minisini, D., Ullmann, C.V., Leng, M.J. Astronomical constraints on the duration of the Early Jurassic Pliensbachian Stage and global climatic fluctuations.     Earth and Planetary Science Letters 455, 149–165 (2016).
  23. Korte, C., Thibault, N., Ullmann, C.V., Clémence, M.-E.; Mette, W., Olsen, T.K., Rizzi, M., Ruhl, M., Brachiopod biogeochemistry and isotope stratigraphy from the Rhaetian Eiberg section in Austria: potentials and limitations.     Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie – Abhandlungen 284, 2, 117-138(22) (2017).
  24. Xu, W., Ruhl, M., Jenkyns, H.C., Hesselbo, S.P., Riding, J.B., Selby, D., Naafs, B.D.A., Weijers, J.W.H., Pancost, R.D., Tegelaar, E.W., Idiz, E.F., First record of the Toarcian OAE from an inland lake, Sichuan Basin, China.     Nature Geoscience 10, 129–134 (2017) doi:10.1038/ngeo2871.
  25. Percival, L.M.E., Ruhl, M., Hesselbo, S.P., Jenkyns, H.C., Mather, T.A., Whiteside, J.H., Mercury evidence for pulsed volcanism during the end-Triassic mass extinction.     Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 114, 30, 7929–7934 (2017) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705378114.
  26. Dickson, A.J., Gill, B.C., Ruhl, M., Jenkyns, H.C., Porcelli, D., Idiz, E., Lyons, T.W, van den Boorn, S., Molybdenum-isotope chemostratigraphy and paleoceanography of the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (Early Jurassic).     Paleoceanography, , 32813829 (2017) doi:10.1002/2016PA003048.
  27. Hinnov, L.A., Ruhl, M., Hesselbo, S.P., Reply to the Comment on “Astronomical constraints on the duration of the Early Jurassic Pliensbachian Stage and global climatic fluctuations” [Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 455 (2016) 149–165].     Earth and Planetary Science Letters 481, 415–419 (2018).
  28. Scaife, J.D., Ruhl, M., Dickson, A.J., Mather, T.A., Jenkyns, H.C., Percival, L.M.E., Hesselbo, S.P., Cartwright, J., Eldrett, J.S., Bergman, S.C., Minisini, D., Sedimentary mercury enrichments as a marker for submarine Large Igneous Province volcanism? Evidence from the Mid-Cenomanian Event and Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (Late Cretaceous).     Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, In Press.
  29.  Thibault, N., Ruhl, M., Ullmann, C.V., Korte, C., Kemp, D.B., Grocke, D.R., Hesselbo, S.P., The Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event at Ravenscar (Yorkshire, UK) in its European context.     Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, In Press.
  30. Xu, W., Ruhl, M., Jenkyns, H.C., Huggett, J.M., Idiz, E., Leng, M.J., Minisini, D., Percival, L.M.E., Riding, J.B., Storm, M.S., Tegelaar, E.W., Tosca, N.J., Ullmann, C.V., Weijers, J.W.H., Hesselbo, S.P.,  Evolution of the Early Jurassic Toarcian carbon-cycle and global climatic controls on local sedimentary processes (Cardigan Bay Basin, UK).     Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Accepted.

Submitted/ In review:

  • Xu, W., Mac Niocaill, C., Ruhl, M., Jenkyns, H.C., Riding, J.B., Hesselbo, S.P., Magnetostratigraphy of the Toarcian Stage (Lower Jurassic) of the Llanbedr (Mochras Farm) Borehole, Wales: basis for a global standard and implications for volcanic forcing of palaeoenvironmental change.     Journal of the Geological Society, In Review.
  • Korte, C., Ruhl, M., Palfy, J., Ullmann, C.V., Hesselbo, S.P., Chemostratigraphy across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary.     AGU Books, In Review.