Possible Research Projects for M.Sc. and Ph. D. Candidates

Isabelle Coutand

Project 1. PhD, Fall 2018, Funding pending for tuition, fees, stipend, and research costs. On May 12, 2008, the Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake occurred in eastern Tibet causing a 270 km-long co-seismic surface rupture, motivating the Wenchuan Earthquake Scientific Deep Drilling Project. The extracted metamorphic bedrock cores provide a unique natural laboratory to calibrate and test the kinetics of OSL-thermochronometry, a new technique potentially capable of constraining spatiotemporal changes of the thermal field in the upper two km of the continental crust, as yet a poorly explored crustal layer. This project involves analytical work in the lab and numerical modeling.
Collaborations: Dr. F. Herman (Lausanne U.), Dr. G. King (Bern U.), Pr. H. Li (Beijing U.).

Project 2. PhD, Fall 2018, Funding pending for tuition, fees, stipend, and research costs. The North Anatolian Fault zone (NAFZ) is a right-lateral transform plate boundary between Eurasia and the Anatolia microplate. The fault extends from northern-eastern Turkey to northern Greece and is one of the most hazardous active strike-slip faults on Earth with 12 Mw > 6.5 since 1934. The NAFZ formed ~ 16-11 Ma ago in eastern Turkey in response to the collision of Arabia and Eurasia and has grown westward with its tip entering the north Aegean domain about 5 Ma ago to supposedly reach the Golf of Corinth 1 Ma ago. If this conjecture were correct, this plate boundary would have propagated southwestward at a mean rate of ~ 100 km/Ma during the Pliocene. However, virtually no geochronological data are available to support this assertion. This project involves structural mapping in the field, and cutting-edge U-Pb calcite dating on a string of islands straddling the fault, to date the NAFZ propagation across the North Aegean domain.  
Collaborations: Dr. C. Mottram (Portsmouth U.).

Yana Fedortchouk

PhD and MSc research project that could start in fall 2018 (all financing pending)

  • Diamond preservation in kimberlite pipes
  • Metasomatism in subcratonic mantle: diamond-forming and diamond-destructive processes
  • Sources of fluid in kimberlite magma: what drives the magma ascent and controls diamond preservation

John Gosse

Project 1. PhD, Summer 2018, Funding expected for tuition, fees, stipend, and research costs. Risk of earthquake - and landslide-generated displacement waves in eastern and Arctic Canada. Initiating in summer of 2018 with full funding expected, the PhD project will utilize cosmogenic isotope exposure dating, field mapping (Newfoundland, Labrador, Baffin Island), and numerical modelling to establish the risk of displacement waves for selected coastal communities.
Co-supervisor Dr. M. Nedimović.

Djordje Grujic

PhD research project that could start in fall 2018 (all financing pending)

  • Which processes drive syn-convergence exhumation of crustal eclogites?
  • What are the interactions between the upper crustal deformation and mid crustal channel flow?
  • How are the stresses transferred between the seismogenic and the ductily flowing crust?
  • How do stresses propagate on the plate scale, from an incipient plate breakup area to a convergent boundary zone?
  • Are there elements in the morphology of critical Coulomb wedges that can be related to spatio-temporal changes in precipitation rather than to the far- and near-field stresses?

Owen Sherwood

Project 1. MSc or PhD, Summer 2018, Funding expected for tuition, fees, stipend, and research costs. Generation and preservation of stable isotope signals in the sedimentary record. Initiating in summer of 2018 with full funding expected, this project will examine the underlying mechanisms by which the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of amino acids are preserved during export and burial of marine organic matter in the sedimentary record. Research involves regular field sampling in Bedford Basin, NS, laboratory incubation experiments, and use of state of the art organic geochemical analytical methods.

Project 2. MSc, Summer 2018, Funding expected for tuition, fees, stipend, and research costs. A novel proxy for sea ice algae. Initiating in summer of 2018 with full funding expected, this project will develop a new geochemical proxy for ice algal productivity using the carbon isotopic composition of amino acids preserved in sediments. This involves a research cruise to Baffin Bay in summer 2018 and use of state of the art organic geochemical analytical methods.

Project 3. PhD Position in Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry at Dalhousie University

Shannon Sterling

Applications are invited from candidates of excellence wishing to pursue a PhD degree in the field of hydrology, specifically focusing examining the extent and causes of trace metal level increases in northern rivers.  Students will receive training within an international research network, specifically focused on time series analysis, biogeochemistry and hydrological processes.