Maxine Akhurst

Dr Maxine Akhurst

Principal geologist and project leader
BGS Edinburgh

Maxine Akhurst’s Biography

  • 2008 – ongoing : Lead and contribute to multi-disciplinary CCS and CO2 storage research projects
  • 2000 –2004 : Deputy programme manager, Integrated Geoscience Surveys North
  • 1998 –2014 : Project leader, research, survey and 3D modelling, Midland Valley of Scotland
  • 1994 –1997 : Project leader, multi-contractor commissioned research
  • 1991 –1999 : Survey geologist, Southern Uplands geological survey
  • 1989 –1991 : Sedimentologist, Marine Geology, BGS Edinburgh
  • 1988 : PhD University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Geology
  • 1984 : MSc University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, Geology
  • 1980 : BSc University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, Geology

Research interests

  • Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Application of numerical methods to palaeontological collections
  • Architecture of geological survey data
  • Applied geology of the Midland Valley of Scotland
  • Southern Uplands sedimentological and structural evolution
  • Contourite and turbidite sedimentology
  • Carbonate sedimentology and diagenesis

Current projects and collaborations

  • 2017 –2020 : UK case study leader, UK- and EU-funded ELEGANCY hydrogen and CCS project
  • 2017 –2020 : Work Package Leader for Large-scale storage networks, UK- and EU-funded ALIGN-CCUS industrial CCS project
  • 2016 : Data champion for BGS-hosted UK CCS Research Centre Data and Information Archive
  • 2016 : Scientific lead for development of the CO2Stored, UK National CO2 storage database
  • 2013 –2015 : ‘GlaciStore’ bid for IODP scientific drilling of overburden to North Sea CO2 storage strata, UK-Norway consortium
  • 2013 – ongoing : CO2MultiStore Project, reducing the risks to the operation of a multi-user CO2 store.
  • 2011 –2015 : QICS offshore CO2 release project, site investigation, drilling, seismic monitoring and knowledge exchange.
  • 2011 –2013 : SiteChar, ‘Risk assessment-led characterisation and dry-run permit application for CO2 storage in the Captain Sandstone.
  • 2009 –2011 : Project Leader, ‘Progressing Scotland’s CO2 storage opportunities’ 2008 –2009 : Project leader, ‘Opportunities for CO2 storage around Scotland’.
  • 2008 –2009 : Project leader, ‘Opportunities for CO2 storage around Scotland’.

Published outputs

NERC Open Research Archive — Dr Maxine Akhurst

Key papers

  • 2015: Akhurst, M, Hannis, S, Quinn, M, Shi, J-Q, Koenen, M, Delprat-Jannaud, F, Lecomte, J-C, Bossie-Codreanu, D, Nagy, S, Klimkowski, L, Gei, D, Pluymaekers, M, and Long, D. Risk assessment-led characterisation of the SiteChar UK North Sea site for the geological storage of CO2. Oil & Gas Science and Technology-Revue d’IFP Energies nouvelles, accepted for publication.
  • 2015 : F Delprat-Jannaud, J Pearce , M AKHURST , C Nielsen , F Neele, A Lothe , V Volpi , S Brunsting and O Vincké. 2015. SiteChar – Methodology for a fit-for-purpose assessment of CO2 storage sites in Europe. Oil & Gas Science and Technology-Revue d’IFP Energies nouvelles, accepted for publication.
  • 2015 : Nepveu, M, Neele, F, Delprat-Jannaud F, Akhurst, M, Vincké, O, Volpi, V, Lothe, A, Brunsting, S, Pearce, J, Battani, A, Baroni, A, Garcia, B, Hofstee, C, and Wollenweber, J. 2015. CO2 storage feasibility: a workflow for site characterisation. Oil & Gas Science and Technology-Revue d’IFP Energies nouvelles, accepted for publication.
  • 2015 : Gruson, J-F, Serbutoviez, S, Delprat-Jannaud, F, Akhurst, M, Nielsen, C, Dalhoff, F, Bergmo, P, Bos, C, Volpi, V, and Iacobellis, S. 2015. Techno-economic assessment of four CO2 storage sites. Oil & Gas Science and Technology-Revue d’IFP Energies nouvelles, accepted for publication.
  • 2015 : Taylor, P, Stahl, H, Vardy, M E, Bull, J M, Akhurst, M, Hauton, C, James, R H, Lichtschlag, A, Long, D, Aleynik, D, Toberman, M, Naylor, M, Connelly, D, Smith, D, Sayer, M D J, Widdicombe, S, Wright, I C, and Blackford, J. 2015. A novel sub-seabed CO2 release experiment informing monitoring and impact assessment for geological carbon storage. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control.
  • 2014 : Blackford, J, Stahl, H, Bull, J, Bergès, B, Cevatoglu, M, Lichtschlag, A, Connelly, D, James, R, Kita, J, Long, D, Naylor, M, Shitashima, K, Smith, D, Taylor, P, Wright, I, Akhurst, M, Chen, B, Gernon, T, Hauton, C, Hayashi, M, Kaieda, H, Leighton, T, Sato, T, Sayer, M, Suzumura, M, Tait, K, Vardy, M, White, P, and Widdicombe, S. 2014. Detection and impacts of leakage from sub-seafloor deep geological carbon dioxide storage. Nature Climate Change, 4, 1011-1016
  • 2014 : Merritt, J W, Akhurst, M C, Wilkinson, I P, Riding, J B, Phillips, E R, Richard, Smith, A, Finlayson, A, and Dean, M T. 2014. The Late Pleistocene Afton Lodge Clay Formation, Ayrshire, Scotland: evidence for Early to Middle Devensian climatic changes and Late Devensian onshore ice flow and rafting from the Firth of Clyde. Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 125, 195-214.
  • 2012 : Jin, M, Mackay, E, Quinn, M F, Hitchen, K, and Akhurst, M C. 2012. Evaluation of the CO2 storage capacity of the Captain Sandstone Formation. Society of Petroleum Engineers, 154539.
  • 2009 : Busby, J P, Akhurst, M C, and Walker, A S D. 2009. A high-resolution aeromagnetic dataset over central Ayrshire: insights into the concealed geology. Scottish Journal of Geology, v.45 (part 1), p 1-12.
  • 2008 : Stoker, M S, Golledge, N R, Phillips, E R, Wilkinson, I P, and Akhurst, M C. 2008. Lateglacial-Holocene shoreface progradation offshore Eastern Scotland: a response to climatic and coastal hydrographic change. Boreas, Vol. 83, 292-314.
  • 2002 : Akhurst, M C, Stow, D A V, and Stoker, M S. 2002. Late Quaternary glacigenic contourite, debris flow and turbidite process interaction. In Stow, D A V, Pudsey, C J, Howe, J A, and Faugeres, J-C. (editors.) Deep water contourite systems: modern drifts and ancient series, seismic and sedimentary characteristics. Geological Society of London, Memoirs 22, 73-84.
  • 2000 : Akhurst, M C, McMillian, A A, Stone, P, Kimbell, G S, and Merriman, R J. 2000 (for 2001). Silurian subduction-related assembly of fault-defined tracts at the Laurieston Fault, Southern Uplands accretionary terrane, Scotland, UK. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences.
  • 1998 : Akhurst, M C, Barnes, R P, Chadwick, R A, Millward, D, Norton, M G, Maddock, R H, Kimbell, and Milodowski, A E. 1998. Structural evolution of the Lake District Boundary Fault Zone in west Cumbria, UK. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 52, 139-158. Akhurst, M C, and 24 others. 1997. The geology of the west Cumbria district. Memoir of the British Geological Survey, Sheets 28, 37 and 47 (England and Wales).



  • CO2 storage site screening, selection, appraisal, risk assessment and leader of storage site characterisation (multi-disciplinary modelling) to meet regulatory requirements.
  • Geoscience data modelling
  • Geoscience field survey and 3D computer modelling of bedrock and superficial deposits
  • Leadership of multi-disciplinary geoscience research projects
    Sedimentology of turbidites and contourites
  • Carbonate petrology

Professional associations

Member of Edinburgh Geological Society

Boards and committees

Directorate member of Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage

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