Dr Daniel Le Heron

Daniel Le Heron

Personal profile

Welcome to this page!

I'm a field geologist with interests in both pure and applied sedimentology and stratigraphy. My research and teaching mean that in a typical year I am usually in the field for at least two months. My current work revolves around various projects on Neoproterozoic strata.


Pure research

On the "pure" research side, fieldwork has been attempting to characterise the stratigraphic stacking patterns of, and establishing sedimentological models for, early Cryogenian (Sturtian) diamictite-bearing successions. With Marie Busfield (PhD student, Royal Holloway), we have been focussing on the archetypal "snowball-Earth" type successions in South Australia, Namibia, and the Death Valley area of the USA over the last 5 years. New projects include looking at the sequence architecture of the Port Askaig Tillite (Scotland) in great detail (PhD student Dilshad Ali in close collaboration with Tony Spencer).

Some of my most recent research has shed light into the fact that Sturtian (~700 Ma) icehouse events are clearly punctuated by interglacial / non-glacial episodes on at least three continents, as revealed in South Australia, Namibia, and Death Valley.


Applied research

My team and I have also been trying to unravel aspects of post-Sturtian cap-carbonate sedimentation (doctoral research of Erwan Le Ber, PhD 2014), and a second major strand to my group's work is now on Neoproterozoic carbonate sedimentology. LiDAR characterisation of an Ediacaran microbial carbonate platform has been undertaken in the Zebra River area (final year PhD student Gerd Winterleitner), with the aim to understand how fluids flow through these very old rocks (which are currently receiving exploration attention from the oil and gas industry). A third major strand to the work has been to define the nature of Neoproterozoic petroleum systems in Brazil using a wide range of techniques (doctoral research of Emi Bertoni, PhD 2014).


I was a co-author on a recent Geological Society of London Special Publication ("Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Petroleum Systems, 2012). From time to time I am happy to offer occasional courses externally on applied glacial sedimentology.


I try to maintain a pre-proof catalogue of my publications on an open access website. Please check out the following link to download these:


Owing to copyright reasons, some of the papers on this website are pre-proof versions. If you'd like final offprints, please pen me an e-mail and I'll happily send them digitally or by snail mail.



  • 2013-         Reader in Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London
  • 2011-2012: Senior Lecturer, Royal Holloway University of London
  • 2008-2011: Lecturer, Royal Holloway University of London
  • 2006-2008: Assistant Professor, Leibniz Universitaet Hannover
  • 2005-2006: Geologist and Project Leader (Libya), CASP, Cambridge University
  • 2004-2005: Postdoctoral research associate, Centre de Geochimie de la surface, Strasbourg, France (TOTAL- CNRS)
  • 2000-2003: PhD, Aberystwyth University, Wales. "Development of the Murzuq Basin, SW Libya, during the Late Ordovician".
  • 1997-2000: BSc (Hons) Geology, Aberystwyth University.




Peer Reviewed Papers

  • Le Heron, D.P., Meinhold, G., Elgadry, M., Abutarruma, Y., Boote, D. (2014). Early Palaeozoic evolution of Libya: perspectives from Jebel Eghei-Nuqay with implications for hydrocarbon exploration in Al Kufrah Basin. Basin Research, DOI: 10.1111/bre.12057
  • Le Heron, D.P., Busfield, M.E., Collins, A.S. (2014). Bolla Bollana boulder beds: a Neoproterozoic trough mouth fan in South Australia? Sedimentology, 61, 978-995.
  • Le Heron, D.P., Busfield, M.E. & Prave, A.R. (2014). Neoproterozoic ice sheets and olistoliths: multiple glacial cycles in the Kingston Peak Formation, California. Journal of the Geological Society of London, 
  • Busfield, M.E. & Le Heron, D.P. (2014). Sequencing the Sturtian icehouse: dynamic ice behaviour in South Australia. Journal of the Geological Society of London, 171, 443-456.
  • Le Heron, D.P., Meinhold, G., Page, A., Whitham, A.G. (2013). Was the distribution of Early Silurian black shales of Gondwana moderated by meltwater release from ancient ice sheets? Journal of the Geological Society of London, 170, 332-339.
  • Le Ber, E., Le Heron, D.P., Winterleitner, G., Bosence, D.W.J., Vining, B.A., Kamona, F. (2013). Microbialite recovery in the aftermath of the Sturtian glaciation: Insights from the Rasthof Formation, Namibia. Sedimentary Geology, 294, 1-12.
  • Craig, J., Le Heron, D.P., Lüning, S., Sutcliffe, O., Thusu, B., Thurow, J., Said, F. (2013). Neoproterozoic and Lower Palaeozoic Plays: Key Challenges for Future Exploration in the Saharan Basins of North and West Africa. In: Salem, M.J. (Ed). Geology of Southern Libya. Gutenberg Press, Malta.
  • Page, A., Meinhold, G., Le Heron, D.P., Elgadry, M. (2013). Normalograptus kufraensis, a new species of graptolite from the western margin of the Kufra Basin, Libya. Geological Magazine, 150, 743-755.
  • Busfield, M.E., Le Heron, D.P. (2013). Glacitectonic deformation in the Chuos Formation of northern Namibia: implications for Neoproterozoic ice dynamics. Proceedings of the Geologist’s Association, 124, p778-789. 
  • Craig, J., Biffi, U., Galimberti, R.F., Ghori, K.A.R., Hakhoo, N., Le Heron, D.P., Thurow, J., Thusu, B., Vecoli, M. (2013). The Palaeobiology and Geochemistry of Precambrian Hydrocarbon Source Rocks. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 40, 1-47. doi: /10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2012.09.011
  • Le Heron, D.P., Busfield, M.E., Le Ber, E., Kamona, A.F. (2013). Ironstones and diamictites in the Chuos Formation of northern Namibia: implications for Cryogenian glaciation. Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology., 369, 48-57. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.09.026
  • Le Heron, D.P., Busfield, M.E., Kamona, A.F. (2013). Interglacial on snowball Earth? Dynamic ice behaviour revealed in the Chuos Formation, Namibia. Sedimentology, 60, 411-427.doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2012.01346.x
  • Le Heron, D.P., Meinhold, G.M., Bergig, K. (2013). Neoproterozoic–Devonian stratigraphic evolution of the eastern Murzuq Basin, Libya: a tale of tilting in the central Sahara. Basin Research, 25, 52-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2117.2012.00555.x
  • Gindre, L., Le Heron, D.P. & Bjørnseth, H-M. (2012). High resolution facies analysis and sequence stratigraphy of the Siluro-Devonian succession of Al Kufrah Basin (SE Libya). Journal of African Earth Sciences, 76, 8-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2012.08.002
  • Le Heron, D.P. (2012). The location and styles of ice-free “oases” during Neoproterozoic glaciations with evolutionary implications. Geosciences, 2, 90-108.doi:10.3390/geosciences2020090
  • Le Heron, D.P., Craig, J. (2012). Neoproterozoic deglacial sediments and their hydrocarbon source rock potential. Huuse, M. et al. (Eds.), “Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems”, Special Publication of the Geological Society of London, 368, 381-393
  • Huuse, M., Le Heron, D.P., Dixon, R., Redfern, J., Moscariello, A., Craig, J. (2012). Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems: an Introduction. In: Huuse, M. et al. (Eds.), “Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems”, Special Publication of the Geological Society of London, 368, 1-28.
  • Lang, J., Dixon, R., Le Heron, D.P., Winsemann, J. (2012). Stratigraphy and Sedimentology of the Ordovician In Amenas gas field, eastern Algeria. Huuse, M. et al. (Eds.), “Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems”, Special Publication of the Geological Society of London, 368, 293-317.doi:10.1144/SP368.1
  • Le Heron, D.P., Craig, J., Sutcliffe, O.E., Whittington, R. (2012). Glaciogenic Reservoir Heterogeneity: an example from the Late Ordovician of the Murzuq Basin, SW Libya. In: Roberts, D.L., Bally, A.W. (Eds). Regional Geology and Tectonics: Principles of Geologic Analysis. Elsevier, 453-489. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53042-4.00016-9
  • Le Heron, D.P., Howard, J.P. (2012). Sandstones, glaciers, burrows and transgressions: the Lower Palaeozoic of Jabel az-Zalmah, Al Kufrah Basin, Libya. Sedimentary Geology, 245-246, 63-75. doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2011.12.008
  • Le Heron, D.P. (2012). The Cryogenian record of glaciation and deglaciation in South Australia. Sedimentary Geology, 243-244, 57-69. doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2011.09.013
  • Le Heron, D.P., Cox, G., Trundley, A.E., Collins, A. (2011). Two Cryogenian glacial successions compared: aspects of the Sturt and Elatina sediment records of South Australia. Precambrian Research. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2011.01.014
  • Le Heron, D.P., Cox, G., Trundley, A.E., Collins, A. (2011). Sea-ice free conditions during the early Cryogenian (Sturtian) glaciation, South Australia. Geology 39, 31-34. doi: 10.1130/G31547.1
  • Le Heron, D.P. & Howard, J.P. (2010). Evidence for Late Ordovician glaciation of Al Kufrah Basin, Libya.  Journal of African Earth Sciences 58 (2), 354-364. doi:10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2010.04.001
  • Brandes, C., & Le Heron, D.P. (2010). The glaciotectonic deformation of Quaternary sediments by fault-propagation folding. Proceedings of the Geologist’s Association 121, 270–280. doi:10.1016/j.pgeola.2010.03.001
  • Le Heron, D.P., Armstrong, H.A., Wilson, C., Howard, J.P., & Gindre, L. (2010). Glaciation and Deglaciation of the Libyan Desert: the Late Ordovician Record. Sedimentary Geology 223, 100-125. doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2009.11.002
  • Le Heron, D.P. (2010). Interpretation of Late Ordovician glaciogenic reservoirs from 3-D seismic data: an example from the Murzuq Basin, Libya. Geological  Magazine 147 (2), 28-41. doi:10.1017/S0016756809990586
  • Le Heron, D.P. (2010). Trace fossils on Late Ordovician glacially striated pavements in Algeria Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 297, 138-143. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.07.023
  • Le Heron, D.P., Howard, J.P., Anderson, L. (2009). Field-based investigations of an “Infracambrian” clastic succession in SE Libya and its bearing on the evolution of Al Kufrah Basin. In: Craig, J., Thusu, B., Thurow, J., Whitham, A., Abuttaruma, Y.  Global Neoproterozoic Petroleum Systems. Geological Society of  London, Special Publications 326, 191-208. doi:10.1144/SP326.10
  • Le Heron, D.P., Craig, J., Etienne, J.L. (2009). The relationship between glaciation and hydrocarbon accumulations across North Africa and the Middle East. Earth Science Reviews 93, 47-76. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2009.02.001
  • Le Heron, D.P., Dowdeswell, J. (2009). Calculating ice volumes and ice flux to place constraint on the dimensions of 440 million year old ice sheets. Journal of the Geological Society, London 166, 277-281.doi: 10.1144/0016-76492008-087
  • Schmieder, M., Buchner, E., Le Heron, D.P. (2009). The Jebel Hadid structure (Al Kufrah Basin, SE Libya) - A possible impact structure and potential hydrocarbon trap? Marine and Petroleum Geology 26 (3), 310-318. doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2008.04.003
  • Le Heron, D.P., Ghienne, J-F., Khoukhi, Y., Paris, F. (2008). Black shale, grey shale, fossils and glaciers: anatomy of the upper Ordovician- Silurian succession in the Tazzeka Massif of eastern Morocco. Gondwana Research 14 (3), 483-496. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2008.02.006
  • Le Heron, D.P., Davies, C., Buslov, M.M., Safonova, I. (2008). The Jurassic and Cretaceous succession exposed at the south-eastern flank of the West Siberian Basin, Russia: insights into an evolving fluvial system. Sedimentary Geology 208 (1-2), 45-60. doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2008.05.001
  • Le Heron, D.P., Craig, J. (2008). First order reconstructions of a Late Ordovician Saharan ice sheet. Journal of the Geological Society, London 165 (1), 19-30. doi: 10.1144/0016-76492007-002: 1.4
  • Le Heron, D.P., Ghienne, J.-F., El Houicha, M., Khoukhi, Y., Rubino, J.-L. (2007). Maximum extent of ice sheets in Morocco during the Late Ordovician glaciation. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 245, 200-226. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2006.02.031
  • Le Heron, D.P., Thusu, B. (2007). Prospects in Libya’s mature and frontier basins. First Break 25, 63-69.
  • Ghienne, J-F., Le Heron, D.P., Moreau, J., Deynoux, M. (2007). The Late Ordovician glacial sedimentary system of the West Gondwana platform. In: Hambrey, M.J., Cristofferson, P., Glasser, N. Glacial Sedimentary Environments: Processes and Products. Special Publication, International Association of Sedimentologists 39, 295-319.
  • Le Heron, D.P., Craig, J., Sutcliffe, O.E., Whittington, R. (2006). Glaciogenic Reservoir Heterogeneity: an example from the Late Ordovician of the Murzuq Basin, SW Libya. Marine and Petroleum Geology 23, 655-677.   doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2006.05.006
  • Le Heron, D.P., Etienne, J.L. (2005). A complex subglacial clastic dyke swarm, Sólheimajökull, Southern Iceland. Sedimentary Geology 181 (1-2). doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2005.06.012
  • Moreau, J., Ghienne, J.-F., Le Heron, D.P., Deynoux, M., Rubino, J.-L. (2005). A 440 million year old ice stream in North Africa. Geology 33 (9), 753-756. doi: 10.1130/G21782.1
  • Le Heron, D.P., Sutcliffe, O.E., Whittington, R.J., Craig, J.(2005). The origins of glacially related soft sediment deformation structures in Upper Ordovician glaciogenic rocks: implication for ice sheet dynamics. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 218, 75-103. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2004.12.007
  • Le Heron, D., Sutcliffe, O., Bourgig, K., Craig, J., Visentin, C., Whittington, R. (2004). Sedimentary architecture of Upper Ordovician tunnel valleys, Gargaf Arch, Libya: Implications for the genesis of a hydrocarbon reservoir. GeoArabia 9 (2), 137-160.


Other Publications

  • Meinhold, G., Le Heron, D.P. (2010). Geological Fieldwork in the Libyan Sahara. Geoscientist 20 (11), 16-20. (Includes cover photo of research area).
  • Le Heron, D.P., Howard, J.P. (2008). Geological Notes and Field Guide to the Lower Palaeozoic of Jabel az-Zalmah, eastern Libya. Earth Science Society of Libya, Golden Jubilee, Field Guide Series. Gutenberg Press, Valetta, Malta, 96p.
  • Le Heron, D.P. (2008). Review of "Glaciotectonism” by Aber, J. & Ber, A. Geological Magazine 145, 892-893.
  • Le Heron, D.P. (2007). Review of “Geological Atlas of Africa” by Thomas Schluter. Geological Magazine 144, p.14.
  • Lüning, S., Fello, N., Craig., Le Heron, D.P., Lubseder, S., Schulz, S., Pyke, G., Dunford, A., Abutarruma, Y. (2007). 1001 Million Saharan Nights: Petroleum Geology of Southern Libya. A movie published by the Geological Society, London.
  • Le Heron, D.P., Thusu, B. (2006). Libya’s mature and frontier basins. In: Libya: Survey of Upstream Opportunities. World Petroleum Report, FIRST Magazine, 25-33.
  • Craig, J., Sutcliffe, O.E., Lüning, S., Le Heron, D.P. & Whittington, R.J. (2002). Ice Sheets and Hot Rocks: Unravelling the glacial signature in the Late Ordovician reservoirs of North Africa. Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain Newsletter December 2002: 6-11.


ID: 15801