Consulting in:
Sedimentology, Sequence Stratigraphy &
Climate- & Sea-Level Change


Download September 2017 3-page CV (pdf 114 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
    31 years to date (April 2018) 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]); Outer Carpathian (Poland); 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, Polish Oil & Gas Institute, 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. 2018. IMMINENT METRE-SCALE NON-ANTHROPOGENIC SEA LEVEL RISE, NOTHING TO DO WITH CO2: a collection of mostly conference abstracts and one-page unpublished ‘Technical Notes’, 2016-19, on:
    (1) CO2’s innocence as driver of the 1 degree (centigrade) of global warming since 1900, driven instead by the sun’s magnetic output DOUBLING from 1901 to 1991 (peak of the the modern solar Grand Maximum, the first since 300AD!), shielding Earth from cosmic rays, thereby decreasing nucleation of clouds, thus warming Earth (Svensmark Theory); and
    (2) the predictable imminent sea-level rise of about 3 metres, a delayed reaction to that same solar Grand Maximum. 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
CLIMATE & SEA LEVEL ADVICE 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