Department Well Represented at GSA 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Department of Earth Sciences at Carleton University was well represented at the 2015 Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting. The meeting was held from 1-4 November in Baltimore. It was attended by Drs. Brian CousensRichard Ernst and Ian Honsberger

Dr. Brian Cousens made a presentation, entitled THE HIMU CONNECTION IN ENRICHED MID-OCEAN RIDGE BASALTS FROM EXPLORER RIDGE, NORTHEAST PACIFIC OCEAN

Dr. Richard Ernst made a presentation, entitled Large Igneous Provinces Linked to Extinction Events. It was a keynote address in a session on mass extinctions. He was also given the honor of having his topic highlighted as a GSA New Release.

In the past, the focus of discussion on mass extinction was the potential link with meteorite impacts. In contrast, now the vast majority of the discussion is on the role of large igneous provinces (LIPs) in causing mass extinctions. Dr. Ernst is very enthusiastic to see a great and growing interest in his research on LIPs. 

Dr. Ian Honsberger made a presentation, entitled THE DYNAMICS OF TACONIAN SUBDUCTION ZONE METAMORPHISM AND EXHUMATION: INSIGHTS FROM POLYMETAMORPHOSED MAFIC ROCKS IN THE VERMONT APPALACHIANS. The talk summarized ongoing research and presented both old and new data, models and ideas. The main goal of the research is to use mineral chemistry and pressure-temperature data to understand subduction zones.

Dr. Honsberger studies deep-rooted fragments of ancient subduction zones to understand how continental crust is recycled and transformed. Subduction zones are critical plate tectonic margins because they are responsible for generating the largest earthquakes and volcanoes on Earth.