Dr Bramley Murton

Marine Geoscience
+44 (0)23 8059 6543

Geological and geochemical research into the evolution of oceanic crust, its interaction with the oceans and the formation of mineral deposits.

I am Associate Head of Marine Geosciences and lead the NOC Marine Mineral Research team. My expertise is in oceanic crust and the formation of mineral deposits including volcanic and tectonic processes, hydrothermal circulation and metalliferous mineralisation. I use and develop a combination of technologies including remote and autonomous underwater vehicles, seafloor geophysics, geology, petrology and geochemistry to investige sub-oceanic mantle melting, volcanic activity and the formation and fate of seafloor mineral deposits. I currently lead a NERC funded project on the formation of seafloor Fe-Mn crusts (MarineE-tech); and am a prinicpal investigator on the EU funded project on the prospectivitty of seafloor massive sulphide deposits as metal-rich resources (Blue Mining). 


Links to further information on specialist area or projects:


Blue Mining

Committee and Board Memberships: 

IODP-UK: Steering Committee, IODP: EPSP



Hodgkinson, Matthew; Webber, Alexander; Roberts, Stephen; Mills, Rachel A.; Connelly, Douglas P.; Murton, Bramley J.. 2015 Talc-dominated seafloor deposits reveal a new class of hydrothermal system. Nature Communications, 6. 10150.10.1038/ncomms10150
Webber, Alexander P.; Roberts, Stephen; Murton, Bramley J.; Hodgkinson, Matthew R.S.. 2015 Geology, sulfide geochemistry and supercritical venting at the Beebe Hydrothermal Vent Field, Cayman Trough. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16 (8). 2661-2678.10.1002/2015GC005879
Shorttle, Oliver; Moussallam, Yves; Hartley, Margaret; Maclennan, John; Edmonds, Marie; Murton, Bramley. 2015 Fe-XANES analyses of Reykjanes Ridge basalts: implications for oceanic crust’s role in the solid Earth oxygen cycle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 427. 272-285.10.1016/j.epsl.2015.07.017
Murton, Bramley J.; Rona, Peter A.. 2015 Carlsberg Ridge and Mid-Atlantic Ridge: Comparison of slow spreading centre analogues. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 121. 74-81.10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.04.021
Parnell-Turner, Ross; White, Nicholas J.; McCave, I. Nick; Henstock, Timothy J.; Murton, Bramley; Jones, Stephen M.. 2015 Architecture of North Atlantic contourite drifts modified by transient circulation of the Icelandic mantle plume. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16 (10). 3414-3435.10.1002/2015GC005947
Wynn, Russell B.; Huvenne, Veerle A.I.; Le Bas, Timothy P.; Murton, Bramley J.; Connelly, Douglas P.; Bett, Brian J.; Ruhl, Henry A.; Morris, Kirsty J.; Peakall, Jeffrey; Parsons, Daniel R.; Sumner, Esther J.; Darby, Stephen E.; Dorrell, Robert M.; Hunt, James E.. 2014 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs): their past, present and future contributions to the advancement of marine geoscience. Marine Geology, 352. 451-468.10.1016/j.margeo.2014.03.012
Parnell-Turner, Ross; White, Nicky; Henstock, Tim; Murton, Bramley; Maclennan, John; Jones, Stephen M.. 2014 A continuous 55-million-year record of transient mantle plume activity beneath Iceland. Nature Geoscience, 7 (12). 914-919.10.1038/ngeo2281
Murton, Bramley J.. 2014 Using technology to explore potential resources. Sea Technology, 55 (6). p7.
Jones, S.M.; Murton, B.J.; Fitton, J.G.; White, N.J.; Maclennan, J.; Walters, R.L.. 2014 A joint geochemical–geophysical record of time-dependent mantle convection south of Iceland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 386. 86-97.10.1016/j.epsl.2013.09.029
Webb, Sharon L.; Murton, Bramley J.; Wheeler, Andrew J.. 2014 Rheology and the Fe3+–chlorine reaction in basaltic melts. Chemical Geology, 366. 24-31.10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.12.006
Wheeler, A.J.; Murton, B.; Copley, J.; Lim, A.; Carlsson, J.; Collins, P.; Dorschel, B.; Green, D.; Judge, M.; Nye, V.; Benzie, J.; Antoniacomi, A.; Coughlan, M.; Morris, K.. 2013 Moytirra: Discovery of the first known deep-sea hydrothermal vent field on the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge north of the Azores. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14 (10). 4170-4184.10.1002/ggge.20243
Wilson, S.C.; Murton, B.J.; Taylor, R.N.. 2013 Mantle composition controls the development of an Oceanic Core Complex. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 979-995.10.1002/ggge.20046
Murton, Bramley. 2013 Seafloor mining: the future or just another pipe dream? Underwater Technology: The International Journal of the Society for Underwater, 31 (2). 53-54.10.3723/ut.31.053
Parnell-Turner, R.E.; White, N.J.; Maclennan, J.; Henstock, T.J.; Murton, B.J.; Jones, S.M.. 2013 Crustal manifestations of a hot transient pulse at 60°N beneath the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 363. 109-120.10.1016/j.epsl.2012.12.030
Connelly, Douglas P.; Copley, Jonathan T.P.; Murton, Bramley J.; Stansfield, Kate; Tyler, Paul A.; German, Christopher R.; Van Dover, Cindy L.; Amon, Diva; Furlong, Maaten; Grindlay, Nancy; Hayman, Nicholas; Hühnerbach, Veit; Judge, Maria; Le Bas, Tim; McPhail, Stephen; Meier, Alexandra; Nakamura, Ko-ichi; Nye, Verity; Pebody, Miles; Pedersen, Rolf B.; Plouviez, Sophie; Sands, Carla; Searle, Roger C.; Stevenson, Peter; Taws, Sarah; Wilcox, Sally. 2012 Hydrothermal vent fields and chemosynthetic biota on the world's deepest seafloor spreading centre. Nature Communications, 3. 620.10.1038/ncomms1636
Morris, Kirsty; Tyler, Paul A.; Murton, Bramley; Rogers, Alex D.. 2012 Lower bathyal and abyssal distribution of coral in the axial volcanic ridge of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 45°N. Deep Sea Research Part I Oceanographic Research Papers, 62. 32-39.10.1016/j.dsr.2011.11.009
Murton, Bramley J.; Huhnerbach, Veit; Garrard, Jo. 2012 Exploring ultradeep hydrothermal vents in the Cayman Trough by ROV. Sea Technology, 53 (9). 9-15.
Yeo, Isobel; Searle, Roger C.; Achenbach, Kay L.; Le Bas, Tim P.; Murton, Bramley J.. 2012 Eruptive hummocks: Building blocks of the upper ocean crust. Geology, 40 (1). 91-94.10.1130/G31892.1
Füri, E.; Hilton, V.; Murton, B.J.; Mémond , C.; Day, J.M.D.. 2011 Helium isotope variations between Réunion Island and the Central Indian Ridge (17°-21°S): New evidence for ridge-hot spot interaction. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116. B02207.10.1029/2010JB007609
Ding, Feng; Spiess, Volkhard; Fekete, Noemi; Murton, Bramley; Brüning, Markus; Bohrmann, Gerhard. 2010 Interaction between accretionary thrust faulting and slope sedimentation at the frontal Makran accretionary prism and its implications for hydrocarbon fluid seepage. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (B8). B08106.10.1029/2008JB006246
Searle, R.C.; Murton, B.J.; Achenbach, K.; LeBas, T.; Tivey, M.; Yeo, I.; Cormier, M.H.; Carlut, J.; Ferreira, P.; Mallows, C.; Morris, K.; Schroth, N.; van Calsteren, P.; Waters, C.. 2010 Structure and development of an axial volcanic ridge: Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 45°N. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 299 (1-2). 228-241.10.1016/j.epsl.2010.09.003
Barry, P.H.; Hilton, D.R.; Sano, Y.; Takahata, N.; Murton, B.J.; Furi, E.; Hemond, C.; Dyment, J.. 2009 Nitrogen isotopes and plume-ridge interaction: The Central Indian Ridge and the Reykjanes Ridge (abstract of paper presented at: 19th Annual V. M. Goldschmidt Conference, Davos, Switzerland, 21-26 June 2009). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73 (13, Supplement ). pA93.
Dean, S.M.; Murton, B.J.; Minshull, T.A.; Henstock, T.J.; White, R.S.. 2009 An integrated kinematic and geochemical model to determine lithospheric extension and mantle temperature from syn-rift volcanic compositions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 278 (1-2). 26-39.10.1016/j.epsl.2008.11.012
MacLeod, C.J.; Searle, R.C.; Murton, B.J.; Casey, J.F.; Mallows, C.; Unsworth, S.C.; Achenbach, K.L.; Harris, M.. 2009 Life cycle of oceanic core complexes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 287 (3-4). 333-344.10.1016/j.epsl.2009.08.016
German, C.R.; Bennett, S.A.; Connelly, D.P.; Evans, A.J.; Murton, B.J.; Parson, L.M.; Prien, R.D.; Ramirez-Llodra, E.; Jakuba, M.; Shank, T.M.; Yoerger, D.R.; Baker, E.T.; Walker, S.L.; Nakamura, K.. 2008 Hydrothermal activity on the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge: Tectonically- and volcanically-controlled venting at 4–5°S. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 273 (3-4). 332-344.10.1016/j.epsl.2008.06.048
Thirlwall, M.F.; Gee, M.A.M.; Lowry, D.; Mattey, D.P.; Murton, B.J.; Taylor, R.N.. 2006 Low ?18O in the Icelandic mantle and its origins: evidence from Reykjanes Ridge and Icelandic lavas. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 70 (4). 993-1019.10.1016/j.gca.2005.09.008
Murton, B.J.; Baker, E.T.; Sands, C.M.; German, C.R.. 2006 Detection of an unusually large hydrothermal event plume above the slow-spreading Carlsberg Ridge: NW Indian Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (10). L10608.10.1029/2006GL026048
Murton, B.J.; Tindle, A.G.; Milton, J.A.; Sauter, D.. 2005 Heterogeneity in southern Central Indian Ridge MORB: Implications for ridge-hot spot interaction. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 6. Q03E20.10.1029/2004GC000798
Thirlwall, M.F.; Gee, M.A.M.; Taylor, R.N.; Murton, B.J.. 2004 Mantle components in Iceland and adjacent ridges investigated using double-spike Pb isotope ratios. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 68 (2). 361-386.10.1016/S0016-7037(03)00424-1
Murton, B.. 2003 Monsoon dredging - the Carlsberg Ridge reveals all. Challenger Wave, August 2003. p.1.
Murton, B.J.; Taylor, R.N.; Thirlwall, M.F.. 2002 Plume-ridge interaction: a geochemical perspective from the Reykjanes Ridge. Journal of Petrology, 43 (11). 1987-2012.
Murton, B.J.. 2002 A Global review of non-living resources on the extended continental shelf. Brazilian Journal of Geophysics, 18 (2). 281-307.10.1590/S0102-261X2000000300007
Ferreira, P.L.; Murton, B.J.; Munha, J.. 2002 Small scale geochemical variability in the basalts from the Lucky Strike Hydrothermal Field. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 66 (15A). p.A765.
Font, L.; Murton, B.; Roberts, S.; Tindle, A.. 2002 Melt and source diversity under the ultra low spreading Southwest Indian Ridge. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 66 (15A). p.A239.
Parson, L.; Murton, B.; Sauter, D.; Curewitz, D.; Okino, K.; German, C.; Leven, J.. 2001 Volcanic/tectonic characteristics of first and second order segments and ridge discontinuities under the hot-spot influence TOBI imagery from the Central Indian Ridge (CIR) adjacent to the Rodriguez system. EOS: Transactions American Geophysical Union, 82 (47, Supplement). p.F1169.
Peate, D.W.; Hawkesworth, C.J.; Van Calsteren, P.W.; Taylor, R.N.; Murton, B.J.. 2001 238U-230Th constraints on mantle upwelling and plume-ridge interaction along the Reykjanes Ridge. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 187 (3/4). 259-272.10.1016/S0012-821X(01)00266-7
Dean, S.M.; Fliedner, M.M.; Henstock, T.J.; Minshull, T.A.; Murton, B.J.; White, R.S.. 2001 Numerical modelling of rift-related magmatism and melt chemistry at passive margins (abstract of poster presented at AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 10-14 Dec 2001). EOS: Transactions American Geophysical Union, 82 (47, Supplement). F1232.
German, C.R.; Connelly, D.P.; Evans, A.J.; Murton, B.J.; Curewitz, D.; Okino, K.; Statham, P.J.; Parson, L.M.. 2001 Hydrothermal activity along the central Indian Ridge: ridges, hotspots and philately. EOS: Transactions American Geophysical Union, 82 (47, Supplement). p.F663.
Murton, B.. 2001 Huge underwater lava lake found. NERC News, Autumn 2001. 12-13.
Briais, A.; Sloan, H.; Parson, L.M.; Murton, B.J.. 2000 Accretionary processes in the axial valley of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 27 degrees N - 30 degrees N from TOBI side-scan sonar images. Marine Geophysical Researches, 21 (1/2). 87-119.10.1023/A:1004722213652
Hilton, D.R.; Thirlwall, M.F.; Taylor, R.N.; Murton, B.J.; Nichols, A.. 2000 Controls on magmatic degassing along the Reykjanes Ridge with implications for the helium paradox. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 183 (1/2). 43-50.10.1016/S0012-821X(00)00253-3
Murton, B.J.; Redbourn, L.J.. 2000 Oceanographic evidence for a transient geothermal event affecting the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Geophysical Research Letters, 27 (10). 1507-1510.
Murton, B.J.; Redbourn, L.J.; German, C.R.; Baker, E.T.. 1999 Sources and fluxes of hydrothermal heat, chemicals and biology within a segment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 171 (2). 301-317.10.1016/S0012-821X(99)00157-0

Book section

Murton, Bramley J.; Huhnerbach, Veit; Garrard, Jo. 2012 HyBIS: a new concept in versatile, 6000-m rated robotic underwater vehicles. In: Roberts, G.N.; Sutton, R., (eds.)Further Advances in Unmanned Marine Vehicles. Stevenage, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 45-67, 459pp. (IET Control Engineering Series, 77).
Murton, B.; Copley, J.; Connelly, D.; et al, .. 2011 Hydrothermal vents at 5000m on the Mid-Cayman Rise: where basement lithology and depth of venting controls sulphide deposit composition. In:OCEANS 2011 MTS/IEEE KONA Conference & Exhibition. Richardson, MTS/IEEE, 4pp.
Murton, B.J.; Parson, L.M.; Hunter, P.M.; Miles, P.R.. 2004 Evaluation of the non-living resources of the continental shelf beyond the 200-mile limit of the world's margins. In: International Seabed Authority, , (ed.)Minerals other than polymetallic nodules of the International Seabed Area, Vol. II. Proceedings of a Workshop held 26-30 June 2000, Kingston, Jamaica. Kingston, Jamaica, International Seabed Authority, 667-761.
Ferreira, P.; Pinto, A.; Murton, B.; Monteiro, H.; Magalhaes, V.; Salgueiro, E.; Lopes, C.; Quartau, R.; Stepanov, A.. 2001 Hydrothermal geological materials from Lucky Strike field collected during TTR-10/leg 2, Azores, Mid Atlantic Ridge. In:Geological Processes on Deep-Water European Margins: International Conference and Ninth Post-Cruise Meeting of the Training-Through-Research Programme, devoted to the 10th Anniversary, Moscow-Mozhenka, Russia, 28 January-2 February 2001. Paris, France, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, 74-76. (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Workshop Report, 175).
Murton, B.J.; Ferreira, P.; Monteiro, J.H.. 2001 Volcanism and hydrothermal venting of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: evolution of explosive seamount volcanism: evidence from 37 degrees N on the mid-atlantic ridge. In:Geological Processes on Deep-Water European Margins: International Conference and Ninth Post-Cruise Meeting of the Training-Through-Research Programme, devoted to the 10th Anniversary, Moscow-Mozhenka, Russia, 28 January-2 February 2001. Paris, France, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, 70-71. (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Workshop Report, 175).


Evans, A.J.; Murton, B.J.. 2012 The State of seafloor massive sulphide exploration in 2012: Position Paper. Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 7pp. (UNSPECIFIED) (Unpublished)
Murton, B.J.; Parson, L.M.; Hunter, P.; Miles, P.. 2001 Global Non-Living Resources on the Extended Continental Shelf: Prospects at the year 2000. Report to the International Seabed Authority, United Nations. Kingston, Jamaica, International Seabed Authority, 65pp. (International Seabed Authority Technical Study 1)
Murton, B.J.. 1996 RRS Charles Darwin Cruise CD95, 08 Aug-14 Sep 1995. The FLUXES I Programme (hydrothermal energy, chemical and biological fluxes at a ridge segment meso-scale). Southampton, UK, Southampton Oceanography Centre, 86pp. (Southampton Oceanography Centre Cruise Report 2)
Murton, B.J.. 1995 RRS Charles Darwin Cruise CD80, 01 Sep-01 Oct 1993. The PETROS Programme (PETRogenesis of Oblique Spreading). Wormley, UK, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory, 77pp. (Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory Cruise Report 241)
Murton, B.J.. 1993 RRS Charles Darwin Cruise 76, 04 Feb - 11 Mar 1993. Geological and geochemical investigation between 27N and 30N of the Kane-Atlantis segment; the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Wormley, UK, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory, 34pp. (Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory Cruise Report 236)

Conference item

Copley, Jon; Nye, Verity; Connelly, Douglas P.; Murton, Bramley J.; Stansfield, K.; Tyler, Paul A.. 2011 Biology of newly discovered hydrothermal vent fields on the world's deepest seafloor spreading centre. In: World Conference on Marine Biodiversity, Aberdeen, 16-30 Sep 2011. (Unpublished)