Romesh Palamakumbura

Dr Romesh Palamakumbura

BGS Edinburgh


BGS geologist since 2017, Romesh Palamakumbura has a background in regional tectonics, carbonate and fluvial sedimentology, Quaternary dating and geochemistry. His early research career involved understanding sedimentary responses to tectonic processes in the Mediterranean and New Zealand using an array of techniques including: field sedimentology, petrology, OSL dating, field luminescence profiling, Uranium disequilibria dating, Strontium isotope dating, palaeomagnetism and X-Ray Fluorescence and Diffraction. Recently, Romesh has been focused on understanding sedimentary responses to deglaciation with a particular focus on the Firth of the Forth after the Last Glacial Maximum. Other experience and skills include fracture network characterisation, python coding and both ARC and Q-GIS



Current projects and collaborations

  • GOForth project (Geological Observatory Forth)- an applied geoscience research programme to advance understanding of the properties and processes of geological and geomorphic systems in east Central Scotland, the region of the Forth estuary.
  • UK3D — 3D geological model for the United Kingdom
  • UPSCAPE- Upscaling local water management interventions to inform larger-scale decision-making in the Cauvery basin, India

ORCID: 0000000268636916


  • Palamakumbura, R N, Finlayson, A, Ciurean, R, Nedumpallile-Vasu, N, Freeborough, K and Dashwood, C. 2021. Geological and geomorphological influences on a recent debris flow event in the Ice-scoured Mountain Quaternary domain, western Scotland. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 132(4), pp.456-468.
  • Krabbendam, M, Palamakumbura, R N, Arnhardt, C and Hall, A. 2021. Rock fracturing by subglacial hydraulic jacking in basement rocks, eastern Sweden: the role of beam failure. GFF, pp.1-16.
  • Palamakumbura, R N, Krabbendam, M, Whitbread, K and Arnhardt, C. 2020. Data acquisition by digitizing 2-D fracture networks and topographic lineaments in geographic information systems: further development and applications. Solid Earth Discussions, pp.1-21.
  • Hall, A M, Krabbendam, M, van Boeckel, M, Goodfellow, B W, Hättestrand, C, Heyman, J, Palamakumbura, R N, Stroeven, A P and Näslund, J O. 2020. Glacial ripping: geomorphological evidence from Sweden for a new process of glacial erosion. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, pp.1-21.
  • Collins, S L, Loveless, S E, Muddu, S, Buvaneshwari, S, Palamakumbura, R N, Krabbendam, M, Lapworth, D J, Jackson, C R, Gooddy, D C, Nara, S N V and Chattopadhyay, S., 2020. Groundwater connectivity of a sheared gneiss aquifer in the Cauvery River basin, India. Hydrogeology Journal.
  • Palamakumbura, R N and Robertson, A H F. 2018. Mudrock geochemistry used to infer source characteristics and provenance of mudrocks of the Permian-Triassic Maitai Group and the associated Patuki Melange, South Island, New Zealand. Journal of the Geological Society
  • Robertson, A H F and Palamakumbura, R N . 2018. Sedimentary development of the Mid-Late Permian-Middle Triassic Maitai fore-arc basin related to the SE Gondwana active continental margin, South Island, New Zealand. Journal of the Geological Society
  • Robertson, A H F, Campbell, H, Johnston, M and Palamakumbura, R N . 2018. Construction of a Palaeozoic-Mesozoic accretionary orogen along the active continental margin of SE Gondwana (South Island, New Zealand): summary and overview. Journal of the Geological Society
  • Robertson, A H F, Palamakumbura, R N and Campbell, H. 2018. Permian-Triassic felsic tuffs in South Island, New Zealand: significance for oceanic and active continental margin subduction. Journal of the Geological Society
  • Robertson, A H F and Palamakumbura, R N . 2018. Sedimentary geochemistry used to infer provenance of Permian-Triassic marine sandstones related to the SE-Gondwana active continental margin, South Island, New Zealand. Journal of the Geological Society
  • Robertson, A H F and Palamakumbura, R N . 2018. Geological development and regional significance of an oceanic magmatic arc and its sedimentary cover: Permian Brook Street Terrane, South Island, New Zealand. Journal of the Geological Society
  • Palamakumbura, R N and Robertson A H F. 2017. Pliocene-Pleistocene sedimentary-tectonic development of the Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin in an incipient, diachronous collisional setting: facies evidence from the north of Cyprus. Geological Magazine
  • Palamakumbura, R N and Robertson, A H F. 2016. Pleistocene terrace formation related to surface tectonic uplift: example of the Kyrenia Range lineament in the northern part of Cyprus. Sedimentary Geology
  • Palamakumbura, R N , Robertson, A H F, Kinnaird, T, Tait, J and Van Calasteren, P. 2016. Quantitative dating of Pleistocene deposits related to the tectonic uplift of the Kyrenia Range, northern Cyprus. Journal of the Geological Society
  • Main, C, Robertson, A H F and Palamakumbura, R N . 2016. Pleistocene geomorphological and sedimentary development of the Akaki river catchment (northern Troodos Massif) in relation to tectonic uplift versus sea level change and climate change. International Journal of Earth Sciences
  • Palamakumbura, R N , Robertson, A H F, Kinnaird, T C, and Sanderson, D C W. 2015. Sedimentary development and correlation of Late Quaternary terraces in the Kyrenia Range, northern Cyprus, using a combination of sedimentology and optical luminescence data. International Journal of Earth Sciences (Geologische Rundschau)
  • Palamakumbura, R N , Robertson, A H F, and Dixon, J E. 2012. Geochemical, sedimentary and micropaleontological evidence for a Late Maastrichtian oceanic seamount within the Pindos ocean (Arvi Unit, S Crete, Greece). Tectonophysics


Commissioned reports

  • Palamakumbura, R N. 2018. A new palaeogeographic model for the post-glacial marine and estuarine sediments of the Firth of the Forth, Scotland. BGS Open Report
  • Barron, H F, Arkley, S L B, Baptie, B, Ellen, R, Kingdom, A, Kremer, Y, Loveless, S, McCarthy, D and Palamakumbura, R N. 2017. Glasgow Collegelands geothermal proposal: subsurface geology. BGS Internal Report



  • Quaternary clastic and carbonate sedimentology
  • Eastern Mediterranean tectonics
  • Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating
  • Uranium-series disequilibrium dating
  • Magnetostratigraphy
  • Bulk rock geochemistry
  • Field-based luminescence profiling
  • Python coding
  • 3D Geological modelling


  • 2016 –2017 : University of Edinburgh, Post-doctoral research assistant. Geochemistry of Permian to Triassic-aged deep-water siliciclastic and volcaniclastic sediments from South Island, New Zealand
  • 2011 –2015 : University of Edinburgh, PhD in Sedimentology, regional tectonics and Quaternary dating
  • 2006 –2011 : University of Edinburgh, M.Earth Sci. in Geology


Boards and committees

  • 2018 – ongoing: Editorial Board: Open Quaternary
  • 2019 – ongoing: Editorial Board: Scottish Journal of Geology

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