Myra Keep

Professor, BSc Lond., MSc Br.Col., PhD S.Methodist

  • The University of Western Australia (M004), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • M468
    35 Stirling Highway


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Personal profile


BSc University College London, 1987
MSc University of British Columbia, 1989
PhD SMU, Texas, 1994


If it breaks, I love it. Precambrian? Awesome! Neogene? Superb! Brittle? Heck yes! Ductile? Any day of the week! In the field? Yesyesyes! On seismic? Always. With more geophysics? Yes please! Real rocks? Fantastic! Remotely-sensed data? Give me more! Basement reactivation? Makes the world go round. With Mass transport deposits? Yes please! Education and outreach? It's the only way to share the love.

Roles and responsibilities

Structural Geology/Tectonics
Seismic interpretation

Basement inheritance
Structural and tectonic evolution of the North West Shelf of Australia
Analogue modelling of structural systems
Tectonic evolution of the northern Australian margin
Planetary geology

Pedagogies in Earth science

Future research

Seismo-tectonics of the northern Australian margin
Structural and tectonic evolution of East Timor
Neotectonics of northern WA
Structural inheritance on the NWS and its control on strain partitioning through time.

Current projects

1. The geological and tectonic evolution of East Timor

We have been working in East Timor since 2003, looking closely at the structural relationships and re-mapping and re-dating the formations, with a view to constraining and formulating models for the tectonic evolution of this part of Timor Island.   See also the page of my colleague, Dr. David Haig,

2. The neo- and seismo-tectonics of the northwestern Australia

Anything young on seismic that has breached the surface or is near surface, preferably with some lovely MTDs nearby.

3. Japan Trench Palaeoseismology

I am part of the scientific crew for this IODP 386 expedition. Sadly there were delays and changes due to COVID-19, but there is a wealth of new hydroacoustic and seismic data.

4. Hydroacoustic and seismic data, NWS
I was fortunate enough to be involved in the Sonne 257 expedition of the NWS in 2017, collecting seismic and hydroacoustic data


5. Basins/minerals/multi-stage basin evolution

Currently contributing to a couple of related projects looking at multi-phase basin histories and links to mineralisation in WA

Funding overview


2020-2023 ARC Linkage Grant

Evolution of Proterozoc multistage rift basins - key to mineral systems

Jessell, Gorczyk, Lindsay, Aitken, Keep, Lang, Densyszyn, Cruden, Rey Betts, Salles


2018-2022 Minerals Research Institute of WA

Geodynamics through time: geodynamic, lithospheric and crustal-scale controls on multi-stage basin evolution and orogenesis and link to mineralising processes.

Gorczyk, Jessell, Occhipinti, Aitken, Lindsay Keep


2020-2022 IODP 386

Japan Trench Palaeoseismology

Offshore and onshore science party member - delayed and modified due to COVID-19.


2019-2021 DAAD

Investigation of geohazards along the northwestern Australian margin revealed by high resolution hydroacoustic data sets.

Keep, O'Learly Krastel


2016-2018, Inpex

Inversion tectonics on the NWS

Keep, Gartrell


Keep and Haig
The petroleum prospectivity of East Timor
Eni Australia Ltd

2005-2008: Australian Research Council Linkage Grant
Dr. Myra Keep, Prof. Brian Kennett, Dr. Phil Cummins
The neo-and seismo-tectonics of northwestern Australia
Sponsored by Woodside Energy

2002-2003:Australian Research Council Linkage grant
Dr.Keep, Prof. Richard Hillis
Integrating stress and strain data from the North West Shelf: implications for hydrocarbon seal integrity
Sponsored by MERIWA (Woodside Energy, Santos and AGIP (now ENI))

2001-2004: Minerals and Energy Research Council of WA
Dr. Myra Keep
Cretaceous and Neogene reactivation and inversion history of the Northern Carnarvon Basin and the role of basement highs in the distribution of Cretaceous and Neogene strain in the Carnarvon Basin and Browse Basin/Timor Sea
Sponsored by Woodside Energy, Santos and AGIP (now ENI)

1999-2000: Australian Research Council SPIRT grant
Dr. M. Keep, Dr. M., Fischer, M., Mr. I. Longley, I. and Dentith, M
Neogene deformation styles and reactivation histories of basins along the NWS of Australia
Sponsored by Woodside Energy and Shell

Industrial relevance

I've been fortunate enough to receive support from a number of companies past and present, including: Woodside Energy, Santos, AGIP, Shell Development Australia, Landmark Graphics Corporation, Petrosys Corporation, Apache Energy, TGS Nopec, Empire Oil and Gas, Robertson Research, Chevron, PGS, Petroleum Experts, Inpex, IHS Markit.

Thanks to all current and previous sponsors

Teaching overview

Earth Processes
Structural Geology and Tectonics
Petroleum Systems
Structural Applications for Energy Geoscience
Field structural geology

First Year Geology

Teaching Outdoors

Geoscience education and outreach



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Research expertise keywords

  • Structural geology
  • Tectonics
  • Neotectonics
  • Geohazard
  • Planetary geology
  • Regional geophysics and tectonics
  • Field geology
  • Earth Science Teaching


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