Professor Fergus G F Gibb
BSc PhD FGS
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Emeritus Professor of Petrology & Geochemistry
+44 114 222 3630
Full contact details
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Fergus Gibb graduated from the University of St Andrews with a BSc Hons, (1963) and PhD (1966) in geology. Following appointments at the University of Toronto (Lecturer in the Department of Geology, 1966-69) and the University of Manchester (Senior Research Assistant in the Department of Geology, 1969-73), he came to Sheffield in 1973 as a lecturer in the Department of Geology (latterly, Earth Sciences).
Promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1979 and Reader in 1985, he transferred to Materials Science and Engineering in October 2001 where his research into the geological disposal of nuclear waste became an integral part of the activities of the Immobilisation Science Laboratory. He was awarded a personal chair in 2005. In recognition of the potential strategic importance of his research for the future management of the UK´s high-level nuclear wastes, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority part-funded his chair in 2006.
A former council member and vice-president of The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, he was elected to a fellowship of the Mineralogical Society of America in 1998 "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the fields of mineralogy, crystallography, geochemistry and petrology". In 2007 he was appointed to the government´s advisory Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM).
- Research interests
- Mathematical modelling of the physical environments in and around both low & high-temperature deep borehole disposals for various forms of nuclear waste, including spent fuel, reprocessing wastes and fissile materials like plutonium.
- Experimental investigation of materials and designs for possible containers for the safe, high-temperature deep disposal of spent fuel.
- Development of a low-temperature very deep disposal concept for vitrified reprocessing waste.
- Deep borehole disposal of surplus plutonium through encapsulation of crystalline waste forms in recrystallized granite.
- Design and large-scale testing of special high-density support matrices for the deep borehole disposal of spent light-water reactor fuel.
- Evaluation of hydrogeological conditions at depths of several kilometres in areas of the continental crust potentially suitable for deep borehole disposal of nuclear wastes.
Deep Borehole Disposal Research Group
Prof Fergus G. F. Gibb
Prof Neil A. Chapman
Dr Karl P. Travis
Dr David Burley
Ms Lyubka Spasova
- The effect of organic retarders on grout thickening and setting during deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 90, 19-26. View this article in WRRO
- Deep Borehole Disposal Research: What have we learned from numerical modeling and what can we learn?. MRS Proceedings, 1744, 193-203.
- Deep borehole disposal of nuclear waste: engineering challenges. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Energy, 167(2), 47-66.
- Comments on 'Mafic-Ultramafic Sills: New Insights from M- and S-shaped Mineral and Whole-rock Compositional Profiles' by V. Egorova and R. Latypov (J-Petrology, 54, 2155-2191, 2013). JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY, 55(5), 1011-1013.
- Deep borehole disposal of higher burn up spent nuclear fuels. Mineralogical Magazine, 76(8), 3003-3017.
- Acoustic emission on melting/solidification of natural granite simulating very deep waste disposal. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 248, 329-339.
- Modelling deep borehole disposal of higher burn-up spent nuclear fuels. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 1475, 391-396.
- Looking down the bore. NUCLEAR ENGINEERING INTERNATIONAL, 55(667), 21-22.
- A model for heat flow in deep borehole disposals of high-level nuclear waste. J GEOPHYS RES-SOL EA, 113(B5).
- High-density support matrices: Key to the deep borehole disposal of spent nuclear fuel. J NUCL MATER, 374(3), 370-377. View this article in WRRO
- Stability of cubic zirconia in a granitic system under high pressure and temperature. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 1107, 59-66.
- Deep borehole disposal of plutonium. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 1107, 51-58.
- The 'granite encapsulation' route to the safe disposal of Pu and other actinides. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 374(3), 364-369. View this article in WRRO
- Characterisation of partial melting and solidification of granite E93/7 by the acoustic emission technique. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 1107, 75-82.
- Very deep geological disposal of high level radioactive waste: A numerical modelling study. AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings.
- Microchemical and crystallographic characterisation of fluorite-based ceramic wasteforms. MRS Proceedings, 932.
- Chemistry of the Shiant Isles Main Sill, NW Scotland, and wider implications for the petrogenesis of mafic sills. JOURNAL OF PETROLOGY, 47(1), 191-230.
- Modelling temperature distribution around very deep borehole disposals of HLW. Proceedings of the 11th International High Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, IHLRWM, 2006, 415-421.
- Probing of the interior layers of the earth with self-sinking capsules. ATOMIC ENERGY, 99(2), 556-562.
- Probing of the interior layers of the earth with self-sinking capsules. Atomnaya Energiya, 99(2), 120-127.
- Granite recrystallization - The key to an alternative strategy for HLW disposal?. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 807, 937-942.
- In situ sintering of waste forms in an underground disposal environment. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 807, 949-954.
- Granite recrystallization: The key to the nuclear waste problem?. GEOLOGY, 31(8), 657-660.
- A Truly Final Waste Management Solution: Is Very Deep Borehole Disposal a Realistic Option for High-Level Waste or Fissile Materials?. Radwaste Solutions, 10(4), 26-37.
- Partial melting and recrystallization of granite and their application to deep disposal of radioactive waste Part 2 - Recrystallization. Lithos, 67(1-2), 119-133.
- Partial melting and recrystallization of granite and their application to deep disposal of radioactive waste Part 1 - Rationale and partial melting. LITHOS, 67(1-2), 103-117.
- Mineral fractionation and pre- and post-emplacement processes in the uppermost part of the Shiant Isles Main Sill. MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, 64(5), 779-790.
- Patterns of Nd and Sr isotopic ratios produced by magmatic and post-magmatic processes in the Shiant Isles Main Sill, Scotland. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 139(6), 655-671.
- A new scheme for the very deep geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste. JOURNAL OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, 157, 27-36.
- High-temperature, very deep, geological disposal: A safer alternative for high-level radioactive waste?. Waste Management, 19(3), 207-211.
- Magmatic processes: do the answers lie in the rocks?. Mineralogical Magazine, 60(1), 1-3.
- Magmatic processes: Do the answers lie in the rocks?. MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, 60(398), 1-3.
- Temperature gradients in large cold-seal pressure vessels. Mineralogical Magazine, 60(2), 337-345.
- Convection and crystal settling in sills. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 109(4), 538-545.
- PLAGIOGRANITIC DIFFERENTIATES IN MORB-TYPE SILLS OF THE FAEROE SHETLAND BASIN. JOURNAL OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, 146, 607-610.
- DISCONTINUITIES BETWEEN PICRITIC AND CRINANITIC UNITS IN THE SHIANT ISLES SILL - EVIDENCE OF MULTIPLE INTRUSION. GEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE, 126(2), 127-&.
- The little minch sill complex. Scottish Journal of Geology, 25(3), 367-370.
- The geochemistry and origin of the Faeroe-Shetland sill complex. Geological Society Special Publication, 39, 241-252.
- Garnet lherzolite xenoliths in the kimberlites of northern Lesotho: revised P-T equilibration conditions and upper mantle Palaeogeotherm. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 97(4), 473-487.
- The age of the Lugar sill and a discussion of the Late‐Carboniferous/Early‐Permian sill complex of S.W. Scotland. Geological Journal, 22(1), 43-52.
- The petrology of the Lugar Sill, SW Scotland. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, 77(4), 325-347.
- EVALUATION OF MINERAL THERMOMETERS AND BAROMETERS APPLICABLE TO GARNET IHERZOLITE ASSEMBLAGES. CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY, 95(4), 499-511.
- WALL-ROCK SILICIFICATION ASSOCIATED WITH FLUORITE VEINS IN CARBONIFEROUS LIMESTONE AT BUTTS QUARRY, DERBYSHIRE, ENGLAND. GEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE, 123(5), 569-579.
- A new Tertiary sill complex of mid-ocean ridge basalt type NNE of the Shetland Isles: A preliminary report. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, 77(3), 223-230.
- ROCKFILE: a computer-based system for the curation of rock specimens.. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 45(3), 173-178.
- HYBRIDIZATION AND THE PETROGENESIS OF COMPOSITE INTRUSIONS - THE DYKE AT AN CUMHANN, ISLE-OF-ARRAN, SCOTLAND. GEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE, 122(4), 361-372.
- HYDROTHERMAL SR CONTAMINATION OF THE DIPPIN SILL, ISLE OF ARRAN, WESTERN SCOTLAND. MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, 48(348), 311-322.
- THE STRUCTURE OF THE SHIANT ISLES SILL COMPLEX, OUTER HEBRIDES. SCOTTISH JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY, 20, 21-29.
- Discussion on younging directions in the Dawros peridotite, Connemara Journal. Journal of the Geological Society, 140(5), 843-844.
- FELSIC MINERAL CRYSTALLIZATION TRENDS IN DIFFERENTIATING ALKALINE BASIC MAGMAS. CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY, 84(4), 355-364.
- YOUNGING DIRECTIONS IN THE DAWROS PERIDOTITE, CONNEMARA. JOURNAL OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, 140(JAN), 63-73.
- DISCUSSION ON YOUNGING DIRECTIONS IN THE DAWROS PERIODOTITE, CONNEMARA - REPLY. JOURNAL OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, 140(SEP), 843-844.
- JURASSIC VOLCANIC-ROCKS OF THE NORTHERN NORTH-SEA. JOURNAL OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, 139(MAY), 277-292.
- A MODIFICATION OF THE WIRE-LOOP TECHNIQUE TO REDUCE ALKALI LOSS DURING 1-ATMOSPHERE EXPERIMENTS. MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, 44(335), 360-361.
- EQUILIBRATION CONDITIONS OF UPPER-MANTLE ECLOGITES - IMPLICATIONS FOR KYANITE-BEARING AND DIAMONDIFEROUS VARIETIES. MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, 44(333), 79-89.
- THE EQUILIBRATION CONDITIONS AND PETROGENESIS OF EUROPEAN CRUSTAL GARNET IHERZOLITES. LITHOS, 13(1), 19-29.
- GEOTHERMOMETRY OF GARNET LHERZOLITE NODULES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THOSE FROM THE KIMBERLITES OF NORTHERN LESOTHO. CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY, 74(4), 403-416.
- CHANGES IN SAMPLE COMPOSITION DURING EXPERIMENTS USING THE WIRE-LOOP TECHNIQUE. MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, 43(325), 115-115.
- LOSS OF FE AND NA FROM A BASALTIC MELT DURING EXPERIMENTS USING THE WIRE-LOOP METHOD. MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, 43(325), 121-126.
- The petrology of the Dippin sill, Isle of Arran. Scottish Journal of Geology, 14(1), 1-27.
- TRACE-ELEMENT DISTRIBUTION AND ORE FORMATION IN VEIN-METASOMATIZED PERIDOTITE AT KALSKARET, NEAR TAFJORD, SOUTH-NORWAY. CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY, 67(3), 289-295.
- POSSIBLE HIGHER PRESSURE RELICS WITHIN TITANIFEROUS AUGITES IN A BASIC SILL. GEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE, 115(1), 55-&.
- FORMATION OF ANALCIME IN DIPPIN SILL, ISLE OF ARRAN. MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, 41(320), 534-537.
- Ultrabasic rocks of Rhum and Skye: the nature of the parent magma. Journal of the Geological Society, 132(2), 209-222.
- JURASSIC IGNEOUS ROCKS OF FORTIES FIELD. NATURE, 260(5546), 23-25.
- Supercooling and the crystallization of plagioclase from a basaltic magma. Mineralogical Magazine, 39(306), 641-653.
- The zoned clinopyroxenes of the shiant isles sill, Scotland. Journal of Petrology, 14(2), 203-230.
- Multiple-twinned and reverse-zoned pigeonite in Apollo 14 basalt 14310. Mineralogical Magazine, 39(302), 248-251.
- A differentiated ultrabasic sheet on Sgurr Dearg, Isle of Skye. Mineralogical Magazine, 38(299), 811-818.
- Plagioclase-Ca-rich-nepheline intergrowths in a syenite from the Marangudzi complex, Rhodesia. Mineralogical Magazine, 38(298), 670-677.
- Chromian Pleonaste and Aluminous Picotite in Two Apollo 14 Microbreccias 14306 and 14055. Nature Physical Science, 235(54), 30-31.
- The magmatic oxygen fugacity of an ultrabasic dyke. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 30(2), 119-124.
- Crystal-liquid relationships in some ultrabasic dykes and their petrological significance. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 30(2), 103-118.
- Zoned olivines in four Apollo 12 samples. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 11(1-5), 161-167.
- Clinopyroxene Crystallization from a Basic Magma of Alkaline Affinity. Nature Physical Science, 230(15), 153-154.
- Opaque minerals in an Apollo 12 rock. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 9(3), 217-224.
- Rapid rock analysis by electron probe. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 34(2), 243-247.
- Cognate xenoliths in the Tertiary uhrabasic dykes of south-west Skye. Mineralogical Magazine, 37(288), 504-514.
- Flow Differentiation in the Xenolithic Ultrabasic Dykes of the Cuillins and the Strathaird Peninsula, Isle of Skye, Scotland. Journal of Petrology, 9(3), 411-443.
- A note on the age relationships between the Sgurr Dubh Ultrabasic Laccolite and the Cuillin Gabbros. Scottish Journal of Geology, 1(3), 300-303.
- A deep borehole disposal solution for the UK's high-level radioactive waste. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Energy, 1-19.
- Deep Borehole Disposal Safety Case. Energies, 12(11), 2141-2141.
Conference proceedings papers
- Deep Borehole Disposal Research at the University of Sheffield. Proceedings of the Workshop “Final Disposal in Deep Boreholes Using Multiple Geological Barriers: Digging Deeper for Safety” (pp 175-175). Berlin, Germany
- Deep geological boreholes : A suitable disposal route for the hanford Cs/Sr capsules?. 15th International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference 2015, IHLRWM 2015 (pp 115-121)
- Sealing deep borehole disposals of radioactive waste by "rock welding". 15th International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference 2015, IHLRWM 2015 (pp 401-406)
- Deep borehole disposal research: What have we learned from numerical modeling and what can we learn?. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, Vol. 1744 (pp 193-203)
- Cementitious grouts for disposal of nuclear wasteforms in deep boreholes. 15th International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference 2015, IHLRWM 2015 (pp 394-400)
- Characteristics of Cementitious Paste for use in Deep Borehole Disposal of Spent Fuel and High Level Wasteforms. MRS Proceedings, Vol. 1744 (pp 205-210)
- Modeling temperature distribution around very deep borehole disposals of HLW. NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY, Vol. 163(1) (pp 62-73)
- A model for predicting the temperature distribution around radioactive waste containers in very deep geological boreholes. SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT XXXI, Vol. 1107 (pp 83-90)
- Microchemical and crystallographic characterisation of fluorite-based ceramic wasteforms. Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XXIX, Vol. 932 (pp 623-630)
- Experimental high pressure crystallisation of a natural granitic melt. PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY OF GLASSES, Vol. 45(2) (pp 90-94)
- Crystallisation of Magnox waste glass under conditions of high temperature, very deep, geological disposal. GLASS TECHNOLOGY, Vol. 45(2) (pp 68-70)
- A study of magnox waste glass under conditions of high temperature, very deep, geological disposal.. SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT XXVII, Vol. 807 (pp 199-204)
- The Shiant Isles Main Sill: Structure and mineral fractionation trends. MINERALOGICAL MAGAZINE, Vol. 60(398) (pp 67-97)
- Professional activities and memberships
Professor Gibb´s early work led to his recognition as an expert on fluid mechanical and other petrogenetic processes in minor igneous intrusions, particularly dykes. His subsequent application of mineralogical and geochemical analyses to the emplacement and differentiation of magmatic bodies has led to international acknowledgement as an authority on basic sill complexes and related intrusions. As his recent appointment to CoRWM attests, he is now recognised as an expert on the geological disposal of radioactive wastes. Among his professional activities, he is:
- a member of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain & Ireland since 1965; (Council member, 1976-80, 1989-91, vice-president, 1990).
- a fellow of The Geological Society (of London) since 1973; (Volcanic Studies Group Committee, 1976-80).
- a member of the Mineralogical Society of America since 1966; (Elected Fellow 1998).
- a member of the Edinburgh Geological Society since 1965.