Colloquium Series Speakers

Upcoming

BSc Thesis Presentations 

Please join us on Friday April 8th at 1:30 pm (via Zoom) to hear about the diverse and fascinating research performed by our 4th-year thesis students.  The presentations include students from both Earth Sciences 4490E and Environmental Sciences 4999E

There will be two parallel sessions running in breakout rooms of the same Zoom meeting.  You can freely move between the breakout rooms to attend the talks you are interested in.

The program, abstracts, and Zoom link have been sent out separately by email. Please note that you need to use your Western contact to join the Zoom meeting.


Past Colloquiums

Dr. Shaunna M. Morrison (Research Scientist at Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington DC)
Driving Curiosity: Exploring martian geology and habitability through mineralogy

Date: Friday, April 1, 2022
Time: 1:30 pm

Zoom link will be sent out separately by email. Please note that you need to use your Western contact to join the Zoom meeting.

Abstract

Mars has long been a source of curiosity and intrigue for humankind – we look out to our nearest cousin to better understand our own formation and evolution, the broader characteristics of our solar system and beyond, and whether or not we are alone in the universe. This desire to explore has led to many orbital and landed missions to Mars, with many striking and surprising discoveries made. One such mission is the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), with the Curiosity rover housing the most advanced and extensive payload of scientific instrumentation ever sent to another planetary object. Since 2012, Curiosity has performed in situ analyses of rocks and soil in Gale crater – providing great insight into Mars’ geologic past, particularly illuminating that there were, indeed, potentially habitable environments with periods of rich water regimes and geologic cycling. Among the instruments informing our understanding of the martian past is the CheMin X-ray diffractometer, which performs X-ray diffraction on drilled rock and scooped sediment samples, providing quantitative mineralogical identification of major and minor phases, mineral phase abundance, unit-cell parameters, chemical composition of major phases, and, when coupled with bulk chemistry data derived from the MSL APXS (Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer) instrument, the chemical composition of the abundant amorphous material that we have discovered to be ubiquitous throughout Gale crater. Minerals, along with their chemical compositions, tell us the geologic history of a sample, a deposit, and a planet – they provide detailed insight and context for the complex evolutionary past of Mars.

In this seminar, I will outline the MSL mission, with a brief mention of the newest NASA Mars mission: Mars2020, describe the MSL payload and detail the specifications and functions of CheMin, delve into the crystal chemical methods used to estimate mineral composition from X-ray diffraction data, briefly discuss the abundant amorphous material observed in all Gale crater samples and how we determine its chemical composition, provide an overview of the mineralogical results from CheMin in Gale crater, and introduce some advanced analytics and machine learning techniques that are changing the way we use mineralogy to address questions in Earth and planetary science.

Dr. Phil Ringrose (Centre for Geophysical Forecasting (CGF) at NTNU Trondheim, Norway)
Sleipner Carbon Capture and Storage Project: 25 years past and future

Date: Friday, March 11, 2022
Time: 1:30 pm

Zoom link will be sent out separately by email. Please note that you need to use your Western contact to join the Zoom meeting.

Abstract

The Sleipner Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project achieved 25 years of continuous operations in 2021 and offers many valuable insights for emerging projects in the planning and design stages. It  is the world's first offshore CCS plant, injecting CO2 into a brine-filled Miocene-Pliocene sands (“saline aquifer”).

Despite this strong track record, only a handful of saline aquifer storage projects are in operation globally.  So, what will the next 25 years look like for CCS? Numerous studies conclude that large-scale geologic disposal of CO2 will be essential to achieve greenhouse gas reduction objectives. For example, the ‘two-degree scenario’ (2DS) set out in the Paris agreement implies that around 120 Gt of cumulative CO2 reduction via CCS will be needed by 2050.  In a paper by Ringrose and Meckel (2019), we argue that this could be achieved via development of multiple CCS hubs mainly focused on offshore basins. Using historical hydrocarbon well drill rates, we explain what realistic growth rates for CO2 injection should look like. Put simply, each continental CCS cluster (or multi-cluster) will need about 200 CO2 injection wells in operation by 2030 rising to 1000 wells per cluster by 2040.  These rates are achievable, being a small fraction of historical petroleum industry drilling rates. The North Sea basin is making good progress with new and emerging CCS projects, but still looks like reaching only around 10-15 CO2 wells by 2030. Further acceleration is clearly needed.

Dr. James Kirkpatrick (McGill University)
Geological Constraints on the Mechanisms of Slow Earthquakes

Date: Friday, February 18, 2022
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
Slow earthquakes are like regular earthquakes, but they slip more slowly. There are two recognized categories of slow earthquakes: slow slip events, which are observed primarily by GPS networks, are aseismic and last for days to weeks, and tectonic tremor and low frequency earthquakes, which have durations of up to a few seconds, and are detected seismologically. Slow earthquakes are recognized on many subduction and transform fault boundaries and in some places accommodate a substantial portion of the plate motion budget, suggesting they are a fundamental process within faults. Yet, although there is a vast amount of geophysical and geodetic data describing slow earthquakes, the processes, rock physical properties or environmental conditions that control how and why slow earthquakes occur remain poorly understood. Field and microstructural observations represent the only way to identify these controls on slow earthquake slip rates. In this presentation, I will review modern occurrences of slow earthquakes to establish the range of ancient equivalent faults and shear zones that can help inform the basic mechanisms of slow earthquakes. I will then use the characteristics of ancient structures to suggest some potential controls on slow earthquake occurrence. These insights will emphasize that reinterpretation of deformation structures is necessary in light of the geo- physical documentation of transient increases in slip and strain rates associated with slow earthquakes.

Adeene Denton, PhD Candidate (Perdue University)
Blown wide open: Searching for oceans in the outer solar system with giant impacts

Date: Friday, February 11, 2022
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
Giant impacts have influenced many planetary bodies in our solar system. The massive basins left behind provide a critical probe into the subsurface of planetary bodies, as their morphology may directly reflect the thermal and mechanical structure of the target’s interior. Connecting giant impacts to their associated structural and tectonic features, which may be global in scale, provides a novel means to reconstruct the geologic history of worlds whose interiors remain difficult to access. In this talk, I will focus on Sputnik Planitia, Pluto's largest impact basin, and use impact simulations to investigate its formation conditions, morphology, and proposed association with geologic features elsewhere on the surface. By reproducing proximal and distal features associated with the giant impact that formed Sputnik Planitia, I will provide insights into improved constraints on Pluto's interior, including core composition, ice shell structure, and the possibility of a liquid subsurface ocean.

Dr. Don White, 2021-22 CSEG Distinguished Lecturer (Geological Survey of Canada)
Geological storage of carbon and the role of Geophysics

Date: Friday, January 28, 2022
Time:
1:30 pm

Abstract
Global efforts to reduce anthropogenic carbon emissions to the atmosphere are gaining momentum. Geological storage of CO2 is recognized as an important component of most reduction strategies and can contribute to the sequestration of excess CO2 already in the atmosphere. However, to be effective, the quantity of CO2 to be stored must be larger – by several orders of magnitude – than current underground injection of waste fluids or gas storage. This will require new monitoring and storage protocols and geophysical methods will play an important role in all stages of CO2 storage projects including site selection, geological characterization and long-term monitoring. Canada is a world leader in implementing CO2 storage pilot projects and related studies. In 2015, the Aquistore CO2 Storage Project began injection of CO2 into a deep saline formation at ~3300m depth utilizing the deepest well in Saskatchewan. The total of CO2 injected is approaching 400 kilotonnes. A variety of geophysical methods have been employed to track the subsurface spread of the CO2 plume and verify its containment within the reservoir. Time-lapse seismic imaging has proven effective for tracking the growth of the CO2 plume over the first 5 years. Passive seismic monitoring combined with continuous GPS measurements and InSAR surveillance has documented an absence of induced seismicity or related surface deformation. The site has acted as a natural testbed for developing other geophysical monitoring methods including electromagnetics, borehole gravity, and fibre-optic DAS (distributed acoustic sensing) systems. The knowledge developed at the Aquistore site will benefit future geological storage projects.

Dr. Beth Hundley (Center for Teaching and Learning & Department of Geopgraphy and Environment, Western University)
An (un)likely tale from an Educational Developer: Nitrogen pollution in Uinta Mountain Lakes

Date: Friday, January 21, 2022
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
The focus of my research is on environmental change in alpine lakes.  High elevation lakes are typically low nutrient ecosystems, however, we show that algal production in high elevation lakes of the Uinta Mountains (Utah, USA) increased beginning in the mid 20th century. We use a combination of paleoenvironmental evidence from lake sediments and stable isotope analysis of modern water and snow to identify the sources of nitrate to these Uinta Mountain lakes. My connections to science and research have evolved to align with my current work as an Educational Developer. As an example, I will share my work on a series of research-informed recommendations for incorporating science communication training in to graduate education.  Finally, I will share brief reflections on my career in the academic-adjacent (yet still research- and teaching-rich) field of educational development.

Honours Bsc - Thesis Progress Presentations

Date: Friday, January 14, 2022
Time:
1:30 pm - 3:30pm

David Leng, P.Geo. (PGO South West Regional Councillor)
Eilidh Lewis, P.Geo. (Assistant Registrar)
Becoming a Professional Geoscientist: What you need to know

Date: Friday, November 19, 2021
Time:
1:30 pm

Learn about . . .

  • Steps to becoming a qualified Professional Geoscientist in Ontario
  • Why geoscientists are regulated
  • The role of the PGO
  • Benefits of being a STUDENT member

PGO's Mission
Progessional Geoscientists Ontario protects the public by regulating Ontario registered geoscientists and advancing professional practice.

Robert "Robby" T. Goldman (NSF Graduate Research Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
The Role of Science Communication during Kilauea's 2018 Eruption Crisis, or How I Navigated a Dynamic PhD Journey during a Global Pandemic

Date: Friday, November 12, 2021
Time:
1:30 pm

Abstract
Responsive and empathic communication of factual information by scientists and hazard responders is critical for maintaining public trust and bolstering community resilience during natural hazard crises. The 2018 eruption of Hawaii’s Kīlauea Volcano was notable for the variety of large and spatially distinct hazards it produced, simultaneously affecting three geographically disparate, culturally diverse regions. I conducted a pilot study with three colleagues from the U.S. Geological Survey to learn which sources of information were most useful to residents during the eruption. We designed and held semi-structured interview conversations with 20 residents in the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ), summit, and Ka‘ū regions of Hawai‘i Island. From analyzing these conversations, we found that interview participants tended to follow and regard favorably the information they received from their region’s “trusted, credible messengers,” a term we adopt from media conversations around efforts to inform vaccine-hesitant publics in the United States. I will also dedicate a portion of this talk to discuss the interdisciplinary nature of my self-driven PhD program, the motivations for and challenges accompanying my unique PhD journey, and personal lessons I gained from both my academic and outreach endeavors during the current global pandemic.

Dr. Bing Li (Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Western University)
Fluid-Driven Seismicity in Volcanic and Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Date: Friday, October 1, 2021
Time:
1:30 pm

Abstract
It is important to understand the mechanisms behind fluid-driven earthquakes, whether they are beneficial in the context of generating fractures for geothermal energy systems, or hazardous in the case of large earthquakes that may cause structural damage. This talk covers two case studies of seismicity related to fluid migration. Firstly, I discuss the Long Valley Caldera in California, where we find clusters of ascending seismicity with a chain-like topology. These events are likely triggered by hydrothermal fluids originating from degassing of an ancient caldera-wide pluton. Secondly, I discuss the Raft River geothermal energy extraction site, where earthquakes are detected in the deep crystalline basement. Our geomechanical model, which is calibrated by satellite measurements, suggests that these earthquakes are driven by poroelastic stresses originating from shallow cold water injection.

ES4490E - Final Presentations

Date: Friday, April 9, 2021
Time:
1:30 pm

April 2, 2021 - No Colloquium GOOD FRIDAY

2021 SCUGOG Lecture
Johanna Wagstaffe (Johanna WagstaffeOn-air meteorologist, seismologist and scientist for CBC VANCOUVER NEWS and CBC NEWS NETWORK Using science to improve science communication 

Date: Thursday, March 25, 2021
Time: 5:00 pm

Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.

Abstract
Science communication has never been more important. The climate crisis, our country's seismic hazards, and of course the current pandemic, demands accountability, engagement with the public, and a spotlight to be shone on the scientists working to solve these issues. This endeavour has never been more challenging or more hopeful. I will talk about my journey from academia to media, and what the newsrooms, and our audiences, are saying when it comes to science journalism. I look forward to sharing the triumphs, along with the obstacles of being a ‘newsroom scientist’ in an ever-changing landscape. 

Dr. Lisa D. White (Director of Education and Outreach, Museum of Paleontology, University of California at Berkeley) Integrating virtual fieldwork, paleontology collections, and visualization tools to enhance geoscience instruction for diverse audiences

Date: Friday, March 19, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
The extensive fossil holdings and significant online resources at the University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) are accessible through educational websites, databases, specimen photographs, and digital archival materials. As the menu of virtual offerings expands and includes virtual field experiences of unique fossil sites supported by digitally integrated gigapixel-resolution images, UCMP has a special opportunity to bring the user to the extraordinary places where geoscientists work. Complementing these efforts is the launch of a new instructional resource, Understanding Global Change, which provides rich visualizations on an interactive canvas that can be used to map and model global change phenomenon. These and other UCMP resources are central to our efforts to foster diversity in geoscience and we target a range of students from pre-college to community college, while widely sharing resources with public audiences. Click here to read more.

Dr. Pritwiraj 'Raj' Moulik (Technical Lead-3D Reference Earth Model Project, Postdoctoral Researcher-Univ. of Maryland College Park) Earth’s bulk structure and heterogeneity from big data and full-spectrum tomography

Date: Friday, March 12, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
Reconciliation of diverse techniques and big data across traditionally siloed disciplines has emerged as a frontier area for Earth exploration. Future challenges include: (1) Leveraging both legacy and evolving community expertise towards harnessing the burgeoning geophysical data, and (2) Modeling physical properties in a way that facilitates self-consistent inferences between geodynamics, geochemistry, seismology and mineral physics. We present progress towards a community three-dimensional reference Earth model (REM3D) and demonstrate their utility for robust inferences on interior structure. Click here to see more. 

Dr. Shun Karato (Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Yale University) Deep mantle melting, global water circulation and its implications for the stability of the ocean mass

Date: Friday, March 5, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm


Abstract
Oceans on Earth are present as a result of dynamic equilibrium between degassing and regassing through the
interaction with Earth’s interior. We review mineral physics, geophysical, and geochemical studies related to the
global water circulation and conclude that the water content has a peak in the mantle transition zone (MTZ) with a
value of 0.1–1 wt% (with large regional variations). When water-rich MTZ materials are transported out of the MTZ,
partial melting occurs. Vertical direction of melt migration is determined by the density contrast between the melts
and coexisting minerals. Because a density change associated with a phase transformation occurs sharply for a solid but more gradually for a melt, melts formed above the phase transformation depth are generally heavier than
solids, whereas melts formed below the transformation depth are lighter than solids. Click here to read more.

Dr. Dashtgard (Applied Research in Ichnology and Sedimentology (ARISE) Group, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University) The Cretaceous Nanaimo Group, B.C.: A Complicated Depositional History on an Active Margin

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
The Nanaimo Group consists of Cretaceous sedimentary strata that infills the Georgia Basin in southwest British Columbia. Exploitation of Nanaimo Group coal deposits drove European colonization of Vancouver Island, and made the region a major port for the global shipping trade in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Historically, the Nanaimo Group was interpreted using a lithostratigraphic framework, which has been revised multiple times over the past 120 years. A robust sequence stratigraphic framework for the lower Nanaimo Group was only recently developed, and reveals a complicated depositional history that existed during the early stages of basin development. Click here to read more.

Insights into the surface of Titan from Cassini VIMS: Why send Dragaonfly to the Dunes?
Dr. Shannon MacKenzie (Planetary Scientist, John Hopkins Univeristy Applied Physics Laboratory) 

Date: Friday, February 12, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
Over the course of its 13 year mission in the Saturn System, the Cassini spacecraft revealed Titan, Saturn's largest moon, to be a world both familiar and bizarre. From the lakes and rivers of the poles to the dune strewn deserts, Titan's geological processes echo those we know here on the Earth. They operate, however, on the cryogenic chemistries of the solar system: liquid methane plays the role of water, water ice the bedrock, and solid organics the sediments. In this talk, I'll highlight how data from Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) shaped our understanding of this tory and how it motivates our return to Titan with the NASA's latest New Frontiers Mission, Dragonfly.

Dr. Jenine McCutcheon (Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo) Microbe-mineral-fluid interactions: Small-scale processes with large-scale impacts

Date: Friday, February 5, 2021
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
Microbial processes influence geochemical reaction pathways in a range of natural and engineered environments. These processes often result in the precipitation or dissolution of mineral phases, thereby altering the chemistry of the surrounding fluid. By characterizing the structure and chemistry of biomineralization products, it becomes possible to use these processes to understand and solve environmental challenges. This will be demonstrated through three case studies highlighting the biogeochemistry of three very different environments. The first study will examine the role of cyanobacteria in beach sand cementation and microbialite formation in carbonate beachrock (Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia). The outcomes of this research have applications to reef island stabilization in a changing climate. In the second study, cyanobacteria were used to mediate carbonate precipitation reactions in ultramafic mine tailings during laboratory and mine site experiments (Woodsreef Asbestos Mine, NSW, Australia). Microbial carbonation reactions have potential to aid carbon storage in mine waste materials while also stabilizing the tailings. Finally, the potential for microbe-mineral interactions to impact global biogeochemical processes will be explored in the third case study, which will examine the role of glacier ice algae and mineral dust in darkening the Greenland Ice Sheet. Pigmented glacier algae ‘bloom’ during the summer melt season, thereby lowering ice sheet albedo and accelerating melting on the landscape-scale. Together, these case studies from natural and industrial systems demonstrate the complexity of microbe-mineral interactions and some of the ways in which these processes impact the environment.  

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

Abstract
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 read more.

The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Federal Minister of Natural Resouces

To view Minister O'Regan's talk on YouTube by click here.

Date: Friday, January 22, 2021
Time: 3:30 pm

Climate change and the post COVID-19 recovery
As the world looks toward a post COVID-19 recovery Canada is taking action to build a clean growth future for our natural resource sector, create jobs, invigorate local economies, and address systemic inequalities all while fighting climate change. How do we address these issues and how do we do so in a way that is smart, thoughtful, and thorough? Join the Federal Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan for a discussion on this and more! The minister will be speaking then answering questions so please send in your questions in advance to ensure your question is answered. The minister will also be answering questions from the floor.

Dr. Marilyn L. Fogel (Emerita Distinguished Professor of the Graduate Division and Equity Advisor for College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California Riverside) Geoecology through the lens of stable isotope biogeochemist

Date: Friday, December 4, 2020
Time: 3:30 pm

Abstract
Stable isotope biogeochemistry started in earnest in the 1960s with isotope ratio mass spectrometers hand made in physicists’ laboratories. I began my career at the time when people were realising that the biosphere was important in shaping the geosphere. Bringing sophisticated chemical instrumentation to study the relationships between living organisms and their environment, in particular in fossils over geological time, was exploding in the 1970s and 1980s. Follow along on insights gained over a nearly 50-year career.

Dr. Ingrid Daubar (Senior Research Associate, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University) New Craters on Mars

Date: Friday, November 20, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
Planets are constantly being bombarded with meteoroids, even in the present day. On Mars, we use before- and after-images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to discover the resulting new impact craters. We currently know of more than 1,100 new impact sites, each with formation date constraints from orbital imaging. On planetary scales, these craters are tiny, ranging from meter-scale to just 58 m in diameter. Slightly over half are primary clusters, where the impactor fragmented in the thin Martian atmosphere to create multiple craters near-simultaneously. These discoveries allow us to investigate not only impact cratering processes, but also atmospheric fragmentation processes, high energy atmosphere-surface interactions, and the population of impacting bodies at Mars. I will discuss how we have used these new craters to measure the current impact rate and calibrate Martian chronology systems, study the morphology of fresh simple craters, survey characteristics of clusters, examine the nature of surficial dust, and explore exposed subsurface ice and mafic materials. The InSight mission has recently placed the first seismometer on the surface of Mars, and I will present our plans to detect one of these new impact events seismically.

Dr. Daniel Gibson (Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University) Tectonic Evolution of the Canadian Cordillera and the Record of a Continental Bulldozer – Evidence and Implications

Date: Friday, November 13, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
The Canadian Cordillera is considered an “archetypal” accretionary orogen that has evolved along a convergent margin throughout latest Paleozoic to present. Although terrane accretion is recognized as a fundamental process during the development of the Canadian Cordillera, in this talk I will examine evidence that suggests that the westerly trajectory of the North American craton for the past 220 Myr was the primary driver of Cordilleran orogenesis. I will first examine the evidence in support of this hypothesis, and then will discuss the far-reaching implications this has for Cordilleran orogenesis and plate tectonics in general. Click here to see more.

Dr. Paul Bauman (Paul Bauman Geophysics) Good Geoscience in Dire Places: Searching for Water in Humanitarian Crises

Date: Friday, November 6, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
The number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), worldwide, is about 80 million. Most refugees are fleeing water-stressed and conflict-torn countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, and Syria. Generally, the host countries for refugee populations are also arid or semi-arid, such as Kenya, Chad, and Jordan. In the marginal landscapes where refugee camps are usually sited, groundwater is often the only practical source of water for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. A lack of access to adequate water supplies is directly tied to increasing occurrences of cholera, dysentery, hepatitis, trachoma, and other diseases. Today, with Covid-19 outbreaks already occurring in overcrowded refugee camps, improving hygiene is critical. A well-targeted geophysical exploration program can make the difference between a successful water supply program and one doomed to failure. Click here to read more.

Dr. Diego Melgar (Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon) Earthquake early warning for large earthquakes with Global Navigation Satellite System data and machine learning

Date: Friday, October 30, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

Abstract
Although infrequent, large magnitude earthquakes (Mw8+) can be extremely damaging and occur on subduction and intraplate faults worldwide. Earthquake early warning (EEW) systems aim to provide advanced warning before strong shaking occurs. However, EEW systems have limited ability to characterize large earthquakes and often underpredict magnitude. In this talk we will discuss why this occurs and propose an approach that leverages the power of deep learning to characterize crustal deformation patterns in real time. We will show how to generate thousands of realistic rupture scenarios and use these to train a model that directly predicts current and final earthquake magnitude from measured ground displacements. We will also demonstrate the performance on five historical large earthquakes in the Chilean Subduction Zone. The resulting model reliably predicts final magnitude well before earthquake completion and significantly outperforms currently operating EEW algorithms.

Dr. Matthew Izawa (Assistant Professor, Division of Astrobiology, Institute of Planetary Materials - Okayama University) Asteroid and Meteorite Science in the Age of Sample Return

Date: Friday, October 16, 2020
Time: 9:30 am

Abstract
We stand just days from successful sampling of asteroid Bennu by OSIRIS-REx and some months from seeing the first samples from Ryugu brought back by Hayabusa-2 – if all goes well, this is after all the year 2020. These asteroid sample returns are some eagerly anticipated materials, and should soon revolutionize our understanding of the dark, volatile-rich, organic-bearing asteroids. The OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa-2 sample returns may also revolutionize our understanding of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which they are presumably related to. While presumably I am about to learn that everything I thought I knew is wrong, it is still a reasonable time to explore and review what (we think) we know about dark asteroids, carbonaceous chondrites, and their potential relationships.
In this talk, I will briefly describe some of the key pre-sampling observations from Bennu leading to the selection of the sampling location. The possible insights offered by meteorite studies will then be reviewed, and finally we will explore some of the big questions that we hope will be answered by the returned samples.

Dr. Stephen Piercey (Professor and NSERC-Altius Industrial Research Chair in Mineral Deposits) Zn-Rich VMS deposits: Genesis, temporal distribution, and controlling factors

Date: Friday, October 1, 2020
Time: 1:30 pm

This talk is part of the extremely popular Ore Deposits Hub speaker series. 
Steve will be live to answer questions after the pre-recorded talk.

This talk will overview Zn-rich volcanogenic massive sulfides including the classification of VMS, the grade-tonnage, and definition of Zn-enrichment in VMS deposits (i.e., Zn-rich, zinciferous, anomalous) and how Zn-enrichment occurs as a function of VMS deposits sub-class and secular variations in the Earth. The second part of the lecture focuses on the controls on Zn-enrichment in VMS deposits, including the importance of tectonics and magmatism, calderas and basin architecture, crustal substrate, anoxia/cap rocks, and zone refining, and magmatic fluids/vapours.

Everyone is welcome! 

First Departmental Colloquium – Friday, September 18, 2020

Please join us for our first departmental colloquium event today at 3:30 pm. Click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. As this is our first departmental colloquium, we will hear from Club reps (Outcrop, GGS, SEG, SEGx, Space Grad Council) who will provide more information about their club and its upcoming events.