Dr. Gordon Osinski

Planetary Geology / Earth and Planetary Materials

Gordon Osinski

Associate Professor & NSERC/MDA/CSA Industrial Research Chair in Planetary Geology
Ph.D. University of New Brunswick, 2004

Office: BGS 1050
Labs: BGS 0074, WSC 12, 14, 26, 27, 30
Phone: 519-661-2111 x.84208
Fax: 519-661-3198
Email: gosinski@uwo.ca
Twitter: @drcrater

Research Interests

Dr. Osinski's research interests are diverse and interdisciplinary in nature. His work synthesizes field, remote sensing, and laboratory observations with a range of geochemical data. His current research falls into three main areas: planetary geology, astrobiology, and economic geology. Meteorite impact craters provide a common cross-cutting theme. He approaches planetary geology with the fundamental view that interpretations of other planetary bodies must begin by using the Earth as a reference and fieldwork forms the basis for much of his research. In addition, he is also interested in developing technologies and techniques for human and robotic surface operations on the Moon and Mars. Examples of current research projects include:

  • Impact-metamorphosed materials and the geology of meteorite impact structures on the Earth, Moon and Mars.
  • Glacial and periglacial landforms in the Canadian Arctic, and analogous environments on Mars.
  • Impact melt-bearing meteorites, of asteroidal and lunar origin.
  • Origin and evolution of life on Earth and the search for life elsewhere in the Solar System.
  • Ore emplacement within the North Range of the Sudbury impact structure, Ontario.

Selected Publications

  • Morse Z. R., Osinski G. R., and Tornabene L. L. 2018. New morphological mapping and interpretation of ejecta deposits from Orientale Basin on the Moon. Icarus 299: 253–271.
  • Sapers H. M., Osinski G. R., Flemming R. L., Buitenhuis E., Banerjee N. R., Tornabene L. L., Blain S., and Hainge J. 2017. Evidence for a spatially extensive hydrothermal system at the Ries impact structure, Germany. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 52:351–371.
  • Stuurman C. M., Osinski G. R., Holt J. W., Levy J. S., Brothers T. C., Kerrigan M., and Campbell B. A. 2016. SHARAD detection and characterization of subsurface water ice deposits in Utopia Planitia, Mars. Geophysical Research Letters 43:9,484–9,491.
  • Osinski G. R., Grieve R. A. F., Chanou A., and Sapers H. M. 2016. The “suevite” conundrum, Part 1: The Ries suevite and Sudbury Onaping Formation compared. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 51:2,316–2,333.
  • Osinski G. R. and Ferrière L. 2016. Shatter cones: (Mis)understood? Science Advances 2:e1600616.
  • Pontefract A., Osinski G. R., Cockell C. S., Southam G., McCausland P. J. A., Umoh J., Holdsworth D. A. 2016. Microbial diversity of impact-generated habitats. Astrobiology 16:775–786.
  • Osinski G. R., Bunch T. E., Flemming R., Buitenhuis E., and Wittke J. H. 2015. Impact melt- and projectile-bearing ejecta at Barringer Crater, Arizona. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 432:283–292.
  • Sapers H. M., Banerjee N. R., and Osinski G. R. 2015. Potential for impact glass to preserve microbial metabolism. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 430:95–104.
  • Osinski G. R., Tornabene L. L., Banerjee N. R., Cockell C. S., Flemming R., Izawa M. R. M., McCutcheon J., Parnell J., Preston L., Pickersgill A. E., Pontefract A., Sapers H. M., and Southam G. 2012. Impact-generated hydrothermal systems on Earth and Mars. Icarus 224:347 - 363.
  • Tornabene L. L., Osinski G. R., McEwen A. S., Boyce J. M., Bray V. J., Caudill C. M., Grant J. A., Mattson S., Mouginis-Mark P. J. 2012. Widespread crater-related pitted materials on Mars: Further evidence for the role of target volatiles during the impact process. Icarus 220:348–368.
  • Osinski G. R., Tornabene L. L., and Grieve R. A. F. 2011. Impact ejecta emplacement on terrestrial planets. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 310:167–181.
  • Osinski G. R., Lee P., Cockell C. S., Snook K., Lim D. S. S., and Braham S. 2010. Field geology on the Moon: Some lessons learned from the exploration of the Haughton impact structure, Devon Island, Canadian High Arctic. Planetary and Space Science 58:646–657
  • Osinski G. R., Lee P., Cockell C. S., Snook K., Lim D. S. S., and Braham S. 2009. Field geology on the Moon: Some lessons learned from the exploration of the Haughton impact structure, Devon Island, Canadian High Arctic. Planetary and Space Science doi:10.1016/j.pss.2009.10.004.
  • Osinski G. R., Barfoot T. D., Ghafoor N., Izawa M., Banerjee N., Jasiobedzki P., Tripp J., Richards R., Auclair S., Sapers H., Thomson L., and Flemming R. 2009. Lidar and the mobile Scene Modeler (mSM) as scientific tools for planetary exploration. Planetary and Space Science doi:10.1016/ j.pss.2009.08.004.
  • Soare R. J. and Osinski G. R. 2009. Stratigraphical evidence of late Amazonian periglaciation and glaciation in the Astapus Colles region of Mars. Icarus 202:17–21.
  • Osinski G. R., Grieve R. A. F., Collins G. S., Marion C., and Sylvester P. 2008. The effect of target lithology on the products of impact melting. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 43:12:1939–1954.
  • Osinski G. R., Schwarcz H. P., Smith J., Kleindienst M. R., Haldemann A. F. C., and Churcher C. S. 2007. Evidence for a 100–200 ka meteorite impact in Western Egypt. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 253:3–4:378–388.

Courses Taught

Astronomy 2232G: Sun, Earth, Planets
Earth Sciences 1023A: Planet Earth: Shaken and Stirred
Earth Sciences 2123A: The Dynamic Earth
Earth Sciences 2250Y: Introductory Field Mapping Techniques
Planetary Science 9500Y & 9600Y: M.Sc. and Ph.D. Planetary Science Seminar Course
Planetary Science 9601A/B: Impact Cratering: Processes and Products
Planetary Science 9603A: Planetary Science Short Course
Planetary Science 9605L: Planetary Science Field School


Please click here for a list of Dr. Osinski's current graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

Dr. Osinski currently has openings for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students interested in studying various aspects of meteorite impact craters, comparative planetary geology, analysis of planetary materials, including meteorites, and economic geology at the Sudbury impact structure.