Consulting in Petroleum Sedimentology
& Sequence Stratigraphy

Bude, Cornwall, UK +44 7880 515748


Download May 2015 3-page CV (pdf 106 KB)

Download 2-page table of basins worked 1975 to May 2015 (pdf 49 KB)


  • Date of birth: 12-12-53
  • Place of birth: Chalfont St Giles, England, UK
  • Nationality: dual British, Canadian
  • Languages: native English; rusty French; fluent Spanish (useful for office & field work in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Venezuela)


  • University of Oxford, D.Phil., Geology (Sedimentology), 1982-86
  • University of Calgary, M.Sc., Geology (Sedimentology), 1975-77
  • University of London (Imperial College, Royal School of Mines), B.Sc. Hons, Geology, specializing in petroleum geology, 1972-75


  • 5 years as petroleum explorationist with Esso and Aquitaine-Canterra in Calgary, Canada (1977-82); then
    4 years sedimentology doctorate at Oxford ('82-86); then
    27 years to date (Dec 2014) as consultant clastic sedimentologist & sequence stratigrapher worldwide.
  • Founded Geoclastica Ltd in 1998.
  • Diverse sedimentological experience on six continents, applicable to petroleum exploration and production, including:
    • facies analysis of outcrops, cores and borehole image logs;
    • sequence stratigraphic analysis of cores and correlation panels;
    • sandstone thin-section petrography and diagenetic analysis; and
    • subsurface and outcrop mapping.
  • Field trips led in Canada, England, Trinidad, Venezuela.
  • Short course taught in Clastic Facies Analysis (English and Spanish).
  • Basins worked: Assam (India), Barinas-Apure (Venezuela); Bredasdorp (South Africa); Carupano (Venezuela); Central Range (Trinidad); Clare (Ireland); Culm (SW England); East Coast (New Zealand); Eastern Venezuela, including Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt; Falcon (Venezuela); Labrador (eastern Canada); Levant (eastern Mediterranean [logged cores of Tamar discovery]); Lough Allen (Ireland); Malay (Malaysia); Maracaibo (Venezuela); Middle Magdalena (Colombia); Northeast Shelf (Trinidad [logged cores of Angostura discovery]); Putumayo (Colombia); Qiongdongnan (China); Queen Charlotte (western Canada); Risha (Jordan); SW Merida Andes (Tachira, Venezuela); Tofino (USA); Upper Magdalena (Colombia); Western Canada; West Siberian (Russia).
  • Clients: Beicip-Franlab, BHP, British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Canadian Petroleum, Chevron, Ecopetrol, Elf, Emerald, Finavera, Geoquest, Geological Survey of Canada (Pacific Geoscience Centre, 2 yrs), IFP, Intera, Jordan NPC, Mobil, Noble, Oil India Ltd, Petróleos de Venezuela (3 yrs), PetroSA, Preussag, Repsol-YPF, Schlumberger, Talisman, Tectonic Analysis Inc.
  • AAPG presentations: 1993 Caracas Venezuela; 2008 Ushuaia Argentina; 2008 San Antonio Texas (x3); 2008 Cape Town South Africa (x2); 2009 Rio de Janeiro Brazil (x3); 2014 Houston Texas; 2014 Midland Texas; 2015 Lisbon Portugal
    (all abstracts are online at AAPG Search and Discovery).
  • Visited all 7 continents, and published on rocks in 5 of them (see below).


  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists (active)
  • Asociación Colombiana de Geólogos y Geofísicos del Petroleo
  • Asociación Venezolana de Sedimentólogos
  • Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
  • Geological Society of America (active)
  • Geological Society of London
  • Geological Society of Malaysia
  • International Association of Sedimentologists (active)
  • Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (active)
  • Sociedad Venezolana de Geólogos
  • SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology (active)
  • P.Geol., Alberta, Canada


  • Higgs, R. 1978. Provenance of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments from the Labrador and western Greenland continental margins. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 15, p. 1850-1860.
  • Higgs, R. 1979. Quartz-grain surface features of Mesozoic-Cenozoic sands from the Labrador and western Greenland continental margins. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 49, p. 599-610.
  • Higgs, R. 1984. Event deposits in the Bude Fm. (U. Carboniferous, S.W. England) - turbidites, tempestites, or both? Abstract. In: Sedimentology of Shelf Sands and Sandstones. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Research Symposium, Calgary, June 15-17, 1984, Program and Abstracts, p. 42. Download (pdf 77 KB)
  • Higgs, R. 1987. The fan that never was? - Discussion of 'Upper Carboniferous fine-grained turbiditic sandstones from southwest England: a model for growth in an ancient, delta-fed subsea fan'. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 57, p. 378-382. Download (pdf 212 KB)
  • Higgs, R. 1988. Fish trails in the Upper Carboniferous of SW England. Palaeontology, v. 31, p. 255-272. Download (pdf 4.2 MB)
  • Higgs, R. 1990a. Sedimentology and tectonic implications of Cretaceous fan-delta conglomerates, Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada. Sedimentology, v. 37, p. 83-103.
  • Higgs, R. 1990b. Sedimentology, basin-fill architecture and petroleum geology of the Tertiary Queen Charlotte Basin. In: Geological Survey of Canada, Paper 90-10, p. 337-371.
  • Higgs, R. 1990c. Discussion of 'Is there evidence for geostrophic currents preserved in the sedimentary record of inner to middle-shelf deposits?' Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 60, p. 630-632.
  • Higgs, R. 1991. The Bude Fm (Lower Westphalian), SW England: siliciclastic shelf sedimentation in a large equatorial lake. Sedimentology, v. 38, p. 445-469. Download (pdf 2.0 MB)
  • Higgs, R. 1996. A new facies model for the Misoa Formation (Eocene), Venezuela's main oil reservoir. Journal of Petroleum Geology, v. 19, p. 249-270. Download (pdf 2.7 MB)
  • Higgs, R. 1997a. Discusssion of 'Basin development and tectonic history of the Llanos Basin, Eastern Cordillera, and Middle Magdalena Valley, Colombia'. AAPG Bulletin, v. 81, p. 1330-1331.
  • Higgs, R. 1997b. Sequence stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Misoa Formation (Eocene), Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. I Congreso Latinoamericano de Sedimentología, Sociedad Venezolana de Geólogos, Memorias, Tomo I, p. 325-334.
  • Pindell, J., Higgs, R. & Dewey, J. 1998. Cenozoic palinspastic reconstruction, paleogeographic evolution and hydrocarbon setting of the northern margin of South America. In: Paleogeographic Evolution and Non-Glacial Eustasy, Northern South America. SEPM Special Publication 58, p. 45-85.
  • Higgs, R. 1998. Discussion of 'Return of "The Fan That Never Was": Westphalian turbidite systems in the Variscan Culm Basin: Bude Formation (south-west England). Sedimentology, v. 45, p. 961-967. Download (pdf 228 KB)
  • Higgs, R. 1999. Discussion of 'Gravity anomalies, subsidence history and the tectonic evolution of the Malay and Penyu Basins (offshore Peninsula Malaysia)'. Basin Research, v. 11, p. 285-287.
  • Higgs, R. 2002a. Discussion of 'Tide-dominated estuarine facies in the Hollin and Napo (“T” and “U”) Formations (Cretaceous), Sacha Field, Oriente Basin, Ecuador'. AAPG Bulletin, v. 86, p. 329-334. Download (pdf 185 KB)
  • Higgs, R. 2002b. Discussion of 'Anomalous porosity and permeability preservation in deeply buried Tertiary and Mesozoic sandstones in the Cusiana Field, Llanos foothills, Colombia'. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 72, p. 443-445.
  • Higgs, R. 2004. Ross and Bude Formations (Carboniferous, Ireland and England): reinterpreted as lake-shelf turbidites. Journal of Petroleum Geology, v. 27, p. 47-66. Download (pdf 6.1 MB)
  • Higgs, R. 2006a. Discussion of 'Large sea, small tides: the Late Carboniferous seaway of NW Europe'. Journal of the Geological Society, London, v. 163, p. 893. Download (pdf 59 KB)
  • Higgs, R. 2006b. Colombia-Venezuela-Trinidad "Caribbean Oblique Collision Model" revised. XIII Congreso Venezolano de Geofísica, Caracas, 26 p. Download (pdf 350 KB)
  • Higgs, R. 2008. Permian "deep-sea-fan" turbidites, Karoo Basin, South Africa, reinterpreted as lake-shelf hyperpycnites. AAPG Hedberg Conference, Ushuaia, Argentina, March 2008, extended abstract. AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90079. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2009a. Gulf of Mexico Paleogene "Whopper Sand" sedimentology: hypersaline drawdown versus low-salinity hyperpycnite models. AAPG Search and Discovery Article #40418, 15 p. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2009b. Discussion of 'Multiscale stratigraphic analysis of a structurally confined submarine fan: Carboniferous Ross Sandstone, Ireland'. AAPG Bulletin, v. 93, p. 1705-1709. Download (pdf 1.3 MB)
  • Higgs, R. 2009c. Enigmatic Brushy, Cherry and Bell Canyon formations (Permian), Marathon Foreland Basin, USA: poor outcrop analogs for deep-sea-turbidite reservoirs. Abstract. AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90100. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2009d. Famous "fine-grained turbidite" outcrops (Ireland, South Africa, USA): reinterpreted as lake-shelf hyperpycnites, unsuitable as deep-sea reservoir analogs. Abstract. AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90100. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2009e. Caribbean-South America oblique collision model revised. In: K. James, M.A. Lorente & J. Pindell (eds). Origin and Evolution of the Caribbean Plate. Geological Society of London, Special Publication 328, p. 611-655. Please email me for a pdf copy.
  • Higgs, R. 2009f. The vanishing Carib Halite Formation (Neocomian), Colombia-Venezuela-Trinidad prolific petroleum province. In: K. James, M.A. Lorente & J. Pindell (eds). Origin and Evolution of the Caribbean Plate. Geological Society of London, Special Publication 328, p. 657-684. Please email me for a pdf copy.
  • Higgs, R. 2010a. Why do siliciclastic shelves exist? How do they differ from "ramp margins"? New sequence stratigraphic aspects vital for petroleum exploration. AAPG Search and Discovery Article #40527, 12 p. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2010b. Discussion of 'U-Pb zircon ages from the southwestern Karoo Basin, South Africa - implications for the Permian-Triassic boundary'. Geology, v. 38, p. e214. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2010c. Discussion of 'Sequence stratigraphy of an argillaceous, deepwater basin plain succession: Vischkuil Formation (Permian), Karoo Basin, South Africa'. Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 27, p. 2073-2075.
  • Higgs, R. 2010d. Discussion of 'Hybrid sediment gravity flows - classification, origin and significance'. Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 27, p. 2062-2065.
  • Higgs, R. 2011. Discussion of 'Hummocky cross-stratification-like structures in deep-sea turbidites: Upper Cretaceous Basque basins (Western Pyrenees, France)'. Sedimentology, v. 58, p. 566-570.
  • Higgs, R. 2013. Flysch turbidite shelf model. Abstract presented at 30th IAS Meeting of Sedimentology, University of Manchester, UK, September 2013. Download (pdf 80 KB)
  • Higgs, R. 2014a. Shelf model for “deep-sea” flysch turbidites and implications for outcrop analogs. AAPG Search and Discovery Article #70157, 16 p & poster (3 sheets). Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2014b. New depositional model (lake-shelf hyperpycnites) for enigmatic Brushy, Cherry & Bell Canyon Formations, Permian, Delaware Basin, USA: importance for local & global petroleum exploration and development. Presented at Southwest Section AAPG 2014 Annual Convention, Midland, Texas. WTGS Publication No. 14-127, v. 1 (abstract booklet), p. 26-38. Download (pdf 194 KB)
  • Higgs, R. 2014c. UK geologist has new theory about Brushy Canyon origins. Midland Reporter-Telegram (newspaper, Midland, Texas), posted May 23rd. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2015a. Reinterpreting the paleosalinity and water depth of peripheral foreland basin flysch. Abstract, AAPG European Regional Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, May 2015. AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90226. See next item (2015b) for downloadable slide presentation. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2015b. Reinterpreting the paleosalinity and water depth of peripheral foreland basin flysch. Powerpoint presentation at AAPG European Regional Conference, Lisbon, May 2015, downloadable from conference website & here … Download (pdf 19.5 MB)
  • Higgs, R. 2015c. Brushy Canyon Formation (Permian), Delaware Basin, USA and look-alikes on three continents: 'outcrop analogs' for deep-sea-turbidite oilfields? West Texas Geological Society Bulletin, v. 54, no. 5, p. 7-22. Download (pdf 8.3 MB)
  • Higgs, R. 2016a. Overlooked geological and human-historical evidence that sea-level rise will approach or exceed IPCC worst-case scenario, regardless of human action. Abstract of talk given 30th Aug 2016 at 35th International Geological Congress, Cape Town, South Africa. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2016b. Neglected British historic evidence for a 5m medieval global sea-level rise: portent of the Modern Rise. Abstract & slideshow (link to downloadable pdf), Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, 28 Sept 2016. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2016c. An impartial geologist's view of "man-made global warming": warming will continue for 100 years, making sea level rise about 5 metres (sic), but it's nothing to do with man or CO2. Abstract, lecture to Old Cornwall Society, 31 October 2016, Bude, Cornwall, UK. Download (pdf 84 KB)
  • Higgs, R. 2017a. Comment on “An integrated chemo- and sequence-stratigraphic framework of the Early Pennsylvanian deepwater outcrops near Kirby, Arkansas, USA, and its implications on remnant basin tectonics”. Marine and Petroleum Geology. Weblink
  • Higgs, R. 2017b. Reinterpreting the paleosalinity and water depth of peripheral foreland basin flysch. AAPG Search and Discovery Article #30508, 83 pp. Weblink


  • Higgs, R. 2009. Skoorsteenberg Formation, Permian, South Africa: "deep-sea turbidite" reservoir analog reinterpreted as lake-shelf hyperpycnites. Please email me directly for a pdf copy.
  • Higgs, R. 2015. Geodynamic context for the deposition of coarse-grained deep-water axial channel systems in the Patagonian Andes: Discussion. (A critique of the popular deep-sea model for the Cerro Toro and Tres Pasos Formations, Upper Cretaceous, Magallanes Basin, Chile.) Download (pdf 192 KB)


Homepage CV & Publications
Bude Turbidite Research Centre Petroleum Sedimentology Course
Turbidite Reservoir Analogs Lecture Outcrop Analog Field Trips
Core & Outcrop Facies Logging Sandstone Porosity Prediction
South America Consulting Bude Geological Walks & Talks
Non-Exclusive Exploration Reports for Sale:
Trinidad Venezuela