Dr. Nigel Blamey


Dr. Nigel Blamey

Assistant Professor 
Ph.D. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 2000
Office: BGS 1000D
Phone: 519-661-2111 x.85246
Email: nblamey2@uwo.ca

Research Interests

I am a geochemist who specializes in fluid inclusion and geochemical applications to geothermal systems, hydrothermal ore deposits, and petroleum basins.  My principle tool is a custom-built mass spectrometer system for fluid inclusion gas analysis.  This unique system quantitatively analyses fluid inclusion volatiles including: H2, He, CH4, H2O, N2, O2, H2S, Ar, CO2, SO2, C2-C4 alkanes and alkenes, and benzene.  Although much of the fluid inclusion gas analysis was pioneered by David Norman, it wasn't until 2000 when he and I developed the interpretation as an exploration tool for the geothermal industry.  It is equally applicable to the study of many hydrothermal ore deposits.  To date I have analyzed samples from several geothermal systems, four gold settings, epithermal Au-Ag, porphyry Cu and Mo, MVTs, black smokers, pegmatites, metamorphic veins, emeralds, iron ore, carbonatites, diagenetic carbonates, desert carbonates, speleothems, amber, Libyan desert glass, fulgurites, impact craters, meteorites, and man-made materials.  Gas analysis may be used to discriminate fluid sources (magmatic, meteoric, basinal), identify processes (boiling, condensational, mixing, equilibrium), constrain redox, correct isochors, apply gas geothermometry, and provide the gas concentrations for fluid-rock equilibria modeling.  Modeling of gold, silver and base metal solubility as well as mineral stability can be achieved.  More recently I have been addressing the ancient atmosphere by analyzing fluid inclusion gases trapped in primary halite.  Owing to halite growing at the brine-atmosphere interface, we observe that some fluid inclusions host large bubbles that were trapped during the mineral growth.  After screening, gas analysis confirms that the gases were ancient atmosphere.  For further information read the open-access paper in GEOLOGY titled “Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen” doi:10.1130/G37937.1.  Another recent research avenue is the examination of mass extinction events and the role of gases.  For this topic see Brand et al. (2017) “Methane Hydrate: Killer cause of Earth’s greatest mass extinction” in Paleoworld: (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palwor.2016.06.002).

Selected Publications

  • Blamey, N.J.F., Campbell, A.R., Heizler, M.T., 2017. “New insights into the hydrothermal fluid evolution of vein sets at the Pipeline gold mine, Nevada”, Minerals, (invited and featured); 7(6), 100. DOI: 10.3390/min7060100
  • Brand, U., Blamey, N.J.F., Griesshaber, E., Posenato, R., Angiolini, L., Azmy, K., Farabegoli, E., and Came, R., 2017. “Methane: the killer cause of Earth’s greatest mass extinction”. Palaeoworld, v. 25, p. 496-507. (Invited paper) DOI: 10.1016/j.palwor.2016.06.002).
  • Parnell, J., and Blamey, N.J.F., 2017. “Hydrogen from radiolysis of aqueous fluid inclusions during diagenesis”. Minerals (invited); 7(8), 130. DOI 10.3390/min7080130
  • Parnell, J., and Blamey, N.J.F., 2017, “Global hydrogen reservoirs in basement and basins”. Geochemical Transactions, v. 18, p. 1-8. DOI: 10.1186/s12932-017-0041-4
  • Takahasi, R., Tagiri, R., Blamey, N.J.F., Imai, A., Watanabe, Y., and Takeuchi, A., 2017. “Characteristics and behavior of hydrothermal fluids related to gold mineralization at the Hishikari deposits, Kyushu, Japan. Resource Geology, v. 67, p. 279-299. DOI: 10.1111/rge.12136
  • Rabiei, M., Chi, G., Normand, C., Davis, W.J., Fayek, M., and Blamey, N.J.F., 2017. “Hydrothermal Rare Earth Element (Xenotime) Mineralization at Maw Zone, Athabasca Basin, Canada, and Its Relationship to Unconformity-Related Uranium Deposits”. Economic Geology, v. 112, p. 1483-1507.
  • Blamey, N.J.F., Brand, U., Parnell, J., Spear, N., Benison, K., Lecuyer, C., Meng, F., and Ni, P., 2016. “Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic oxygen”. Geology, v. 44, p. 651-654. DOI:10.1130/G37937.1
  • Blamey, N.J.F., Azmy, K., and Conliffe, F.J., 2016. “Geochemistry and diagenetic history of the Lower Head Formation sandstones, Western Newfoundland, Canada”. Canadian Journal Earth Sciences, v. 53, p. 1501-1510. DOI: 10.1139/cjes-2015-0169
  • Blamey, N.J.F., Boston, P.J., and Rosales-Lagardes, L., 2016. “High-resolution signatures of oxygenation and microbiological activity in speleothem fluid inclusions”. International Journal of Speleology, v. 45, p. 231-241.
  • Liang, R., Chi, G., Ashton, K., Blamey, N.J.F., and Fayek, M., 2016. “Fluid compositions and P-T conditions of vein-type uranium mineralization in the Beaverlodge uranium district, northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Ore Geology Reviews, v. 80, p. 460-483. DOI: 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2016.07.012
  • Chi, G., Haid, T., Quirt, D., Fayek, M., Blamey, N.J.F., Chu, H., 2016. “Petrographic, fluid inclusion and geochronological characteristics of the End uranium deposit, Kiggavik, Nunavut, Canada”. Mineralium Deposita. DOI: 10.1007/s00126-016-0657-9
  • Magnall, J., Gleeson, S., Blamey, N.J.F., Paradis, S., 2016. “Vent complex geochemistry in sediment-hosted massive sulphide (SHMS) systems”. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 193, p. 251-273. DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2016.07.020
  • Vasyukova, O., Williams-Jones, A.E., Blamey, N.J.F., 2016. “Fluid evolution in the Strange Lake granitic pluton, Canada: Implications for HFSE mobilization. Chemical Geology, v. 444, p. 83-100. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.10.009
  • McMahon, S., Parnell, J., Blamey, N.J.F., 2016. “Evidence for seismogenic hydrogen gas, a potential microbial energy source on Earth and Mars”. Astrobiology, v. 16, p. 690-702. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2015.1405.
  • Xiong, D., Azmy, K., Blamey, N.J.F., 2016. “Diagenesis and origin of calcite cement in the Flemish Pass Basin sandstone reservoir (Upper Jurassic): Implications for porosity development”. Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 70, p. 93-118. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.11.013
  • Hou, Y., Azmy, K., Berra, F., Jadoul, F., Blamey, N.J.F., Gleeson, S.A., Brand, U., 2016. “Origin of the Breno and Esino dolomites in the Western Southern Alps (Italy): Implications for a volcanic influence”. Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 69, p. 39-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.10.010
  • Blamey, N.J.F., Parnell, J., McMahon, S., Mark, D., Tomkinson, T., Lee, M., Shivak, J., Izawa, M., Banerjee, N., Flemming, R., 2015. “Evidence for Methane in Martian meteorites”. Nature Communications, 6:7399. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8399
  • Blamey, N.J.F., Azmy, K., Brand, U., 2014. “Provenance and burial history of cement in sandstones of the Northbrook Formation (Carboniferous), western Newfoundland, Canada: a geochemical investigation”. Sedimentary Geology, v. 299, p. 30-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2013.10.005
  • Lynch, E.P., Costanzo, A., Feely, M., Blamey, N.J.F., Pironon, T., Lavin, P., 2014, “The Piteiras Emerald Mine, Brazil: geological and gemological perspectives”, Mineralogical Magazine, v. 78, p. 1571-1587. DOI: 10.1180/minmag.2014.078.7.04
  • Parnell, J., Blamey, N.J.F., Costanzo, A., Feely, M., Boyce, A.C., 2014. “Preservation of Mesoproterozoic age deep burial fluid signatures, NW Scotland”. Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 55, p. 275-281. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.11.018
  • Parnell, J., McMahon, S., Blamey, N.J.F., Hutchinson, I., Harris, L., Ingley, R., Edwards, H., Lynch, E., and Feely, M., 2014. “Detection of reduced carbon in a basalt analogue for martian nakhlite: a signpost to habitat on Mars”. International Journal of Astrobiology, v. 13, p. 124-131. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550413000360
  •  Price, M., Ramkissoon, N., McMahon, S., Miljkovic, K., Parnell, J., Kearsley, A., Blamey, N., Cole, M., and Burchell, M., 2014. “Limits on methane release and generation via hypervelocity impact of Martian analog materials”. International Journal of Astrobiology, v. 13, p. 132-140. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550413000384
  • Azmy, K., and Blamey, N.J.F., 2013, “Origin of diagenetic fluids inferred from fluid inclusion gas ratios”, Chemical Geology, v. 347, p. 246-254. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.04.011.
  • Conliffe, F.J., Wilton, D.H.C., Blamey, N.J.F., Archibald, S.M., 2013. “Paleoproterozoic Mississippi Valley type Pb-Zn mineralization in the Ramah Group, Northern Labrador: Stable Isotope, fluid inclusion and quantitative fluid inclusion gas analyses”, Chemical Geology, v. 362, p. 211-223. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.08.032
  •  Azomani, E., Azmy, K., Blamey, N.J.F., Brand, U., Al-Aasm, I., 2013, “Origin of Lower Ordovician dolomites in eastern Laurentia: Controls on porosity and implications from geochemistry”. Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 40, p. 99-114. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2012.10.007.
  • McMahon, S., Parnell, J., and Blamey, N.J.F., 2013, “Sampling methane in basalt on Earth and Mars”. International Journal of Astrobiology, v. 12, p. 113-122. DOI: 10.1017/S1473550412000481.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, 2012, “Composition and evolution of crustal, geothermal and hydrothermal fluids interpreted using quantitative fluid inclusion gas analysis”, Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 116-117, p. 17-27. DOI:10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.03.001
  • A.J. Wright, N.J.F. Blamey, J. Conliffe, and J. Parnell, 2012, “Origin of vein-graphite in Moine (Glenfinnan Group) rocks, NW Scotland, supported by the study of volatile gases in fluid-inclusions”, Scottish Journal of Geology, v. 48, p. 47-59. DOI 10.1144/0036-9276/01-426
  • S. McMahon, J. Parnell, and N.J.F. Blamey, 2012, “Sampling Methane in hydrothermal minerals on Earth and Mars”. International Journal of Astrobiology, v. 11, p. 163-167. DOI 10.1017/S1473550412000067
  • J. Parnell, S.A. Bowden, D. Muirhead, N.J.F. Blamey, F. Westall, R. Demets, S. Verchovsky, F. Brandstätter, and A. Brack, 2011, “Preservation of organic matter in the STONE 6 artificial meteorite experiment”, Icarus, v. 212, p. 390-402. DOI 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.11.029
  • W.T. Parry, and N.J.F. Blamey, 2010, “Fault fluid composition from fluid inclusion measurements, Laramide Age Uinta Thrust Fault, Utah”, Chemical Geology, v. 278, p. 105-119. DOI 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2010.09.005
  • J. Parnell, A.J. Boyce, and N.J.F. Blamey, 2010, “Follow the methane: the search for a deep biosphere, and the case for sampling serpentinites, on Mars”, International Journal of Astrobiology, v. 9, p. 193-200. DOI 10.1017/S1473550410000200
  • J. Conliffe, N.J.F. Blamey, M. Feely, J. Parnell, and A.G. Ryder, 2010, “Hydrocarbon migration in Jurassic sandstones from the Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland: evidence from fluid inclusion studies”, Petroleum Geoscience, v. 16, p. 67-76. DOI 10.1144/1354-079309-007
  • N.J.F. Blamey, J. Conliffe, J. Parnell, A.G. Ryder, and M. Feely, 2009, “Application of fluorescence lifetime measurements on single petroleum-bearing fluid inclusions to demonstrate multicharge history in petroleum reservoirs”, Geofluids, v. 9, p. 330-337. DOI 10.1111/j.1468-8123.2009.00265.x
  • N.J.F. Blamey, and A.G. Ryder, 2009, “Review of fluorescent applications to hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions”, Reviews in Fluorescence, Ch. 13, p. 299-334. DOI 10.1007/978-0-387-88722-7_13
  • L. Morrison, M. Feely, D.B. Stengel, N.J.F. Blamey, P. Dockery, A. Sherlock, and E. Timmins, 2009, “Seaweed attachment to bedrock: biophysical evidence for a new geophycology paradigm”, Geobiology, v.7, p. 1-11. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4669.2009.00206.x.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, A.G. Ryder, M. Feely, P. Dockery, and P. Owens, 2008, “The application of structured-light illumination to hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions”, Geofluids, v. 8, p. 102-112. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-8123.2008.00209.x
  • P. Owens, A.G. Ryder, and N.J.F. Blamey, 2008, “Frequency domain fluorescence lifetime study of crude petroleum oils”, Journal of Fluorescence, v. 18, p. 997-1006. DOI: 10.1007/s10895-008-0330-5
  • N.J.F. Blamey, A.G. Ryder, P. Owens, M. Feely, and P. Dockery, 2007, “The geological application of structured-light illumination microscopy: An example using hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusion fluorescence”, In Focus, (March issue).
  • N.J.F. Blamey, 2006, “H2S concentrations in geothermal and hydrothermal fluids – a new gas geothermometer”, 31st Workshop on geothermal reservoir engineering, CD.
  • D.I. Norman and N.J.F. Blamey, 2005, “Methane in Carlin-type gold deposit fluid inclusions”, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 69, n. 10, pp.124.
  •  N.J.F. Blamey and D.I. Norman, 2002, “New Interpretations of Geothermal Fluid Inclusion Volatiles: Ar/He and N2/Ar ratios - A Better Indicator of Magmatic Volatiles, and Equilibrium Gas Geothermometry”, 27th Workshop on geothermal reservoir engineering, CD.
  • D.I. Norman, N.J.F. Blamey, and L. Kurilovitch, 2002, “New applications of geothermal gas analysis to exploration”, Transactions of Geothermal Resources Council, v. 26, p. 345-353.
  • D.I. Norman and N.J.F. Blamey, 2002, “Interpreting geothermal processes and fluid sources from fluid inclusion organic compounds and CO2/N2 ratios”, 27th Workshop on geothermal reservoir engineering, 2002, p. 266-274.
  • S.J. Lutz, J.N. Moore, N.J.F. Blamey and D.I. Norman, 2002, “Fluid-Inclusion Gas Chemistry of the Dixie Valley (NV) Geothermal System”, 27th Workshop on geothermal reservoir engineering, CD.
  • D.I. Norman, and N.J.F. Blamey, 2001, “Quantitative analysis of fluid inclusion volatiles by a two quadrupole mass spectrometer system”, ECROFI, p. 341-344.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, and D.I. Norman, 2000, “Fluid inclusion evidence for gold mineralization related to decalcification during an Early Cretaceous event at the Pipeline Gold Mine, Nevada”, GSN (2000). (Silver medallion award in best student paper category; peer reviewed).

Selected Conference Abstracts

  • Blamey, N.J.F., Brand, U., Fralick, P., Lécuyer, C., Benison, K., & Parnell, J., 2017. Atmospheric and oceanic oxygen at 1.4 Ga measured in halite. Goldschmidt, Paris, France.
  • Brand, U., Blamey, N.J.F., Meng, F., Ni, P., Parnell, J., Lécuyer, C., Benison, K., Spear, N., & Fralick, P., 2017. Oxygenation of the Neoproterozoic to Early Paleozoic atmosphere and ocean: Impact on marine life. Goldschmidt, Paris, France.
  • Lécuyer, C., Fourel, F., Blamey, N.J.F., Brand, U., and Fralick, P., 2017. Insights into the Proterozoic water cycle: D/H ratios of water from fluid inclusions trapped in halite. Goldschmidt, Paris, France.
  • Fourel, F., Lécuyer, C., Blamey, N.J.F., Brand, U., and Fralick, P., 2017. New Method for D/H measurements from halite fluid inclusions; Clues to ancient hydrosphere. Goldschmidt, Paris, France.
  • Sato, T., Komatsu, T., Takahashi, R., Imai, A., Blamey, N.J.F., Charusiri, P., Bradley, B. and Sangsiri, P.,  2016. Geochemical characteristics of epithermal gold mineralization at the Chatree deposit, Thailand. In: Abstract of 66th Annual Congress of Resource Geology, Tokyo, Japan, P-33, p. 83.
  • Blamey, N.J.F., Brand, U., Spear, N., Parnell, J., McMahon, S., 2015. “Measuring paleoatmospheric terrestrial and martin gases”. Goldschmidt 2015.
  • Brand, U., Blamey, N.J.F., Spear, N., Parnell, J., McMahon, S., 2015. “Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen and the diversification of M-A life”. Goldschmidt 2015.
  • Blamey, N.J.F., Brand, U., Azmy, K., 2014. “Measuring atmospheric and seawater gases of the ancient Earth”. Goldschmidt 2014.
  • Takahashi, R., Amai, A., Charusiri, P., Blamey, N.J.F., Nagasawa, S., Chida, Y., 2013, “Characteristics of the Cu-Mo mineralization in the N-prospect, Chatree mining district, Thailand”. 3rd Asia Africa Mineral Resources Conference 2013, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, September 21-25, 2013.
  • Magnall, J.M., Gleeson, S.A., Paradis, S., Blamey, N.J.F., 2013, “MacMillian Pass SEDEX Mineralization: The geochemical characterization of a vent complex”, SEG Geoscience for Discovery conference in Whistler, BC.
  • C.R. Kelson, C.V. Coffey, and N.J.F. Blamey, 2013, Mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic characterization of the Powers Farm tourmaline occurrence, St. Lawrence Co., New York. GSA NE section, Paper #216189.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, 2012, “Expanding the understanding of geofluid studies using fluid inclusion gas analysis by mass spectrometry”, Goldschmidt Conference (invited talk). 
  • N.J.F. Blamey, J. Parnell, and H.P. Longerich, 2012, “Understanding detection limits in fluid inclusion analysis using an incremental crush fast scan method for planetary science”, LPSC.
  • S. McMahon, J. Parnell, M. Burchell and N.J.F. Blamey, 2012, “Methane retention by rocks following simulated meteorite impacts: Implications for Mars”, LPSC.\
  • N.J.F. Blamey, and K. Azmy, 2011, “Origin of cementation during the burial history of the North Brook Formation sandstones, western Newfoundland, Canada: implications for controls on porosity distribution”, NAPSA, p. 19.
  • J. Parnell, S. McMahon, G. Ferguson, N.J.F. Blamey, A.J. Boyce, 2011, “Identification of methane-rich rocks and their potential to support life, on Earth and Mars”, Royal Astronomical Society, Abs., p. 25-26.
  •  N.J.F. Blamey, M.B.E. Boslough, H.E. Newsom, and J. Parnell, 2010, “Quantitative fluid inclusion gas analysis of airburst, nuclear, impact, and fulgurite glasses”, GSA Abstracts with Programs, v. 42, p. 305.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, A.J. Wright, J. Parnell, F.J. Conliffe, 2010, “Evidence for lithological control on the fluid inclusion gas chemistry generated during amphibolite grade metamorphism, Scotland”, PACROFI, p. 19-20.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, J. Parnell, F. Westall, and R. Demets, 2010, “Fluid inclusion gas changes during the STONE 6 experiment induced by passage through the Earth’s atmosphere”, PACROFI, p. 13-14.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, P.J. Boston, and L. Rosales-Lagarde, 2010, “Fluid inclusions in speleothems: Time capsules of climate change and microbial processes”, PACROFI, p. 15-16.
  • N.J.F. Blamey and M.B.E. Boslough, 2010, “Evidence for an airburst origin for Libyan Desert Glass using inclusion gas analysis”, PACROFI, p. 17-18.
  • A. Costanzo, N.J.F. Blamey, M. Feely, E.P. Lynch, T. Pironon, P. Lavin, 2010, “Emeralds from the Piteiras Mine, Minas Gerais State, Brazil: genetic implications from fluid inclusion studies”, PACROFI, p. 31-32.
  • J. Conliffe, D.H.C. Wilton, N.J.F. Blamey, S.A. Archibald, 2010, “Paleoproterozoic Mississippi Valley Type Pb-Zn mineralization in the Ramah Group, Northern Labrador”, PACROFI, p. 27-28.
  • Costanzo, M. Feely, E.P. Lynch, N.J.F. Blamey, J. Raggi, 2009, “Fluids associated with the formation of emeralds from the Piteiras Mine, Minas Gerais State, Brazil”. 52th Annual Irish Geological Research Meeting, Trinity College Dublin.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, A.G. Ryder, M. Feely, F.J. Conliffe, P. Owens, and J. Parnell, 2008, “A quantitative non-destructive fluorescence lifetime method for the analysis of single hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions: a portal to the discrimination of petroleum multi-charge histories”, PACROFI, p. 9.
  • A.G. Ryder, N.J.F. Blamey, M. Feely, and P. Owens, 2007, “Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy for the analysis of hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions, the frequency domain approach”, ELMI, (accepted).
  •  N.J.F. Blamey, A.G. Ryder, M. Feely, and P. Owens, 2007, “Fluorescence lifetime analysis of single hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions – A paragenetic perspective”, IMOG, p. 669-670.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, and D.I. Norman, 2007, “Quantitative fluid inclusion gas analysis and interpretation of quartz-hosted fluid inclusions from the Pipeline Gold Mine, Nevada: Application to a Carlin-type deposit”, ECROFI, p. 206.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, A.G. Ryder, P. Owens, M. Feely, and J.F. Naranjo-Vesga, 2007, “Fluorescence lifetime measurements of single hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions”. ECROFI, p. 42.
  • N.J.F. Blamey, A.G. Ryder, M. Feely, and P. Owens, 2007, “Preliminary fluorescence lifetime measurements on hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions from the Porcupine Basin, offshore Western Ireland”, IGRM, (accepted).
  • N.J.F. Blamey, A.G. Ryder, and P. Owens, M. Feely, and P. Dockery, 2006, “The geological application of structured-light illumination microscopy: An example using hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusion fluorescence”, Microscopy Society of Ireland, p. 25.
  • D.I. Norman, N.J.F. Blamey, and B.M. Kennedy, 2002, “Analyses of Ar-He-N2 ratios in magmatic and geothermal fluid inclusions”, (PACROFI Abstracts, 2002, p. 75).
  • L. Kurilovitch, D.I. Norman, and N.J.F. Blamey, 2002, “Fluid inclusion gas analysis; a new geothermal and mineral exploration tool”. In: Global Exploration 2002; integrated methods for discovery, Society of Economic Geologists, Monograph, p. 110.

Courses Taught

Earth Sciences 3370A: Metallogeny I: Ore Petrology
Earth Sciences 2232G: Exploring the Planets