Professor Benjamin Kneller

Professor Benjamin Kneller

Emeritus Professor


Contact Details

The University of Aberdeen Meston 141


BSc University of Sheffield 1981

Postgraduate Research Assistant, University of Aberdeen 1981-87

PhD Aberdeen 1988

Post-doctoral Research Assistant, University of Sheffield, 1987-88

Post-doctoral Research Assistant Leeds, University of Leeds, 1988-90

Post-doctoral Research Assistant Leeds, University of Liverpool, 1990-91

Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Leeds, 1991-95

Lectuter, University of Leeds, 1995-2000

Senior Researcher, Institute for Crustal Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2000-2004

Reader, University of Aberdeen, 2004-2006

Professor, University of Aberdeen, 2006-present (Emeritus since January 2019_


Research Interests

My research has spanned a range of fields in geology, from tectonics and high-grade metamorphic rocks in the 1980s (Ashcroft et al., 1984, Nature, 310, 760-762) to modern seafloor processes today (Zhang et al., 2018, Geology,, but has mainly focussed on deepwater depositional systems. 

Key publications include:

Kneller, B., Nasr-Azadani, M.M. & Meiburg, E. 2016. Long-range sediment transport in the world’s oceans by stably stratified turbidity currents. Journal of Geophysical Research, 121, 8608–8620. doi:10.1002/2016JC011978

Kneller, B., Dykstra, M., Fairweather, L. and Milana, J-P., 2016, Mass-transport and slope accommodation: implications for turbidite sandstone reservoirs. AAPG Bulletin,100, 213–235. 

Kneller, B.C., Milana, J.P., BuckeeC.M, & al Ja’aidi, O.S., 2004. Depositional Record of Deglaciation in a Paleofjord (Late Carboniferous of San Juan Province, Argentina); the Role of Catastrophic Sedimentation. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 116, 348-367. 

Kneller, B.C., 2003. The influence of flow parameters on turbidite slope channel architecture. Marine & Petroleum Geology, 20, 901-910. 

Kneller, B.C. & Buckee, C.M., 2000. The structure and fluid mechanics of turbidity currents; a review of some recent studies and their geological implications. Sedimentology,47, (Supplement 1), 62-94. 

Kneller, B.C., Bennett, S.J., & McCaffrey, W.D., 1999. Velocity structure, turbulence and fluid stresses in experimental gravity currents. Journal of Geophysical Research, Oceans. 104, C3, 5281-5291. 

Kneller, B.C., 1995.  Beyond the turbidite paradigm: physical models for deposition of turbidites and their implications for reservoir prediction. InHartley A.J. & Prosser D.J.Characterisation of Deep Marine Clastic SystemsGeological Society of London Special Publication No 94, 31-49. 

Kneller, B.C., 1991.  A foreland basin on the southern margin of Iapetus. Journal of the Geological Society, London, 148, 207-210. 

Current Research

Current research is mainly in four areas:

1. Typhoon-triggered turbidity currents, and the Holocene record of gravity current activity in the Gaoping Canyon, offshore Taiwan (in collaboration with Tongji University);

2. Architecture of deepwater systems in the Cretaceous fore-arc basin of Tibet, mainly the Albian-Coniacian Ngamring Formation (in collaboration with Nanjing University);

3. Interaction of gravity currents with topography - a laboratory study (in collaboration with Zhejiang University);

4. Origin of carbonate megabeds within dominantly siliciclastic deepwater systems (in collaboration with Universidad Nacional de San Juan).


In addition to the collaborations above, I am a Visiting Professor at China University of Geosciences, Wuhan.



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  • Sobiesiak, MS, Kneller, BC, Alsop, GI & Milana, JP 2018, 'Styles of basal interaction beneath mass transport deposits' Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 98, pp. 629-639. [Online] DOI:
  • Liu, Q, Kneller, BC, Fallgatter, C, Valdez Buso, V & Milana, JP 2018, 'Tabularity of individual turbidite beds controlled by flow efficiency and degree of confinement' Sedimentology, vol. 65, no. 7, pp. 2368-2387. [Online] DOI:
  • Bozetti, G, Cronin, BT, Kneller, BC & Jones, AM 2018, Deep-Water conglomeratic megabeds: analogues for event beds of the Brae Formation of the South Viking Graben, North Sea. in CC Turner & BT Cronin (eds), Rift-related coarse-grained submarine fan reservoirs: the Brae Play, South Viking Graben, North Sea. AAPG Memoirs, no. 115, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, pp. 114-118.
  • Zhao, L, Ouillon, R, Vowinckel, B, Meiburg, E, Kneller, B & He, Z 2018, 'Transition of a Hyperpycnal Flow Into a Saline Turbidity Current Due to Differential Diffusivities' Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 45, no. 21, pp. 11,875-11,884. [Online] DOI:
  • Liu, Q, Kneller, B, Fallgatter, C & Valdez Buso, V 2018, 'Quantitative comparisons of depositional architectures of unconfined and confined turbidite sheet systems' Sedimentary Geology, vol. 376, pp. 72-89. [Online] DOI:
  • Pantopoulos, G, Kneller, BC, McArthur, AD, Courivaud, S, Grings, AE & Kuchle, J 2018, 'Turbidite bed thickness statistics of architectural elements in a deep-marine confined mini-basin setting: Examples from the Grès d'Annot Formation, SE France' Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 95, pp. 16-29. [Online] DOI:
  • Sobiesiak, MS, Valdez Buso, V, Kneller, BC, Alsop, GI & Milana, JP 2018, Block generation, deformation and interaction of mass transport deposits with the seafloor: An outcrop-based study of the Carboniferous at Cerro Bola, NW Argentina. in Special Publications. Special Publications, American Geophysical Union.
  • Maselli, V & Kneller, B 2018, 'Bottom currents, submarine mass failures and halokinesis at the toe of the Sigsbee Escarpment (Gulf of Mexico): Contrasting regimes during lowstand and highstand conditions?' Marine Geology, vol. 401, pp. 36-65. [Online] DOI:
  • Fielding, L, Najman, Y, Millar, I, Butterworth, P, Garzanti, E, Vezzoli, G, Barford, D & Kneller, BC 2018, 'The initiation and evolution of the River Nile' Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 489, pp. 166-178. [Online] DOI:
  • Li, P, Kneller, BC, Thompson, P, Bozetti, G & Dos Santos, T 2018, 'Architectural and facies organization of slope channel fills: Upper Cretaceous Rosario Formation, Baja California, Mexico' Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 92, pp. 632-649. [Online] DOI:
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