The Department of Earth Sciences is operating predominantly virtually due to COVID19. Please contact us via email if you need any of our staff or faculty.  

Welcome to Earth Sciences at Western

Earth Sciences is the science of the planet Earth. We seek to understand the Earth's internal structure and composition; its dynamic character (earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics); the processes that occur within it; the processes that shape its surface and the materials that constitute its surface layers; the origin, occurrence, extraction and conservation of the Earth's natural resources (minerals, fossil fuels, soils, and water); the place of the Earth within the Solar System, and the history of life on Earth.

Western's Department of Earth Sciences is a close-knit and dynamic department combining cutting edge academic and applied research with strong mentorship and teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Our graduates can be found in industry, academia and government across Canada and around the world. Come see us in the Biological and Geological Sciences Building to see what Earth Sciences has to offer.

Colloquium Series Speakers


Dr. Peter Lightfoot (PGeo. Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario) Chemostratigraphy of Continental Flood basalts: architecture, duration, and sulfur budget

Date: Friday, January 29, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

The diversity in scale, duration, and petrology of continental flood basalts is discussed in the context of the chemostratigraphic record of conformable sequences of flows. These data support an understanding of temporal and spatial changes in the style of volcanic activity and the depocenters of accumulation. The 66 Ma Deccan Trap of India comprises >1 million km3 of bimodal picritic and tholeiitic lavas erupted in <1Ma which progressively young from north to south as the Indian plate migrated over the Reunion hotspot (and approximately antipodal to the Chicxulub impact event). The flow tops are often weathered, but erosion and sedimentation are exceptionally rare, and the chemostratigraphic signals provide a remarkable record of variations due to source geochemistry, differentiation, and sulfide saturation history. The details help to compare the S budget of the erupted rocks with that of comagmatic intrusions, and this in-turn anchors estimates of volatile flux into the atmosphere. The 250Ma Siberian Trap in the Noril’sk Region is part of a >3.8 million km3 large igneous province. It also records a progression from picritic basalts through to tholeiites over <1Ma with few examples of erosion or sedimentation between successive flows. Click here to see more.


Dean's Statement on Anti-Racism

Racism has no place in the University or London community. Everyone in Western Science is appalled by news of violence directed against Black and Indigenous people, particularly in Canada. This intensifies our resolve to remove obstacles and systemic barriers to creating a community in our Faculty of Science in which we can all study Science in an atmosphere of mutual respect. As a Faculty of Science and as members of the London community, we condemn all racist acts, whether intended or arising from ignorance, and the power imbalances they reflect and perpetuate. Power imbalances and racial biases also exist in our own Faculty community.

Our resolve to improve must be matched with thoughtful action. I affirm Western Science's active role and support in Western's response to the Anti-Racism Working Group Report. Over the coming weeks, I commit to working within and outside our Faculty to identify issues from staff, faculty, and students. This process will be followed by planning and action within our Faculty of Science, informed and led by our community. We will, together, speak up and stand up for the changes needed.

Matt Davison, Faculty of Science Dean