Dr. Phil McCausland

Meteoritics, Tectonics, Paleomagnetism

Phil McCausland

Director, Western Paleomagnetic and Petrophysical Laboratory
Adjunct Research Professor

Ph.D. Western University, 2002
Office: BGS 0187
Labs: WSC 34, 36; BGS 1009
Phone: 519-661-2111 x.88008
Fax: 519-661-3198
Email: pmccausl@uwo.ca
Curriculum Vitae
Lab Website (WPPL)

Research Interests

I have two main areas of research:

  1. Paleomagnetism applied to the study of supercontinent assembly and dispersal, terrane tectonics and orogeny
  2. Petrophysical properties and mineralogy of Earth & planetary materials as it relates to mineral exploration, meteoritics, and the geological evolution of the Earth and small bodies of the Solar System

These are currently pursued by my research group (graduate students in italics) along the following themes: 

  • Paleogeography of the Earth: determining the Earth’s Precambrian-Paleozoic paleogeography via paleomagnetic and other techniques, as a context for understanding extreme paleoclimates, burgeoning life, and as a tracer of global geodynamics. (Thomson, MacRae)
  • Tectonics of accretionary orogens and mountain belts: paleomagnetic tracking of the collision, obduction and lateral motion of crustal fragments –terranes– to investigate the mechanisms of their assembly into mountain belts (Applalachians-Caledonides, Canadian Cordillera, Central Asia). (Warsame)
  • Shock metamorphism and parent body processes in the Early Solar System: investigation of the mineralogy and petrology of meteorites as recorders of impact shock deformation, redox processes and small body evolution (Uribe, Li)
  • Petrophysical properties, mineralogy and mineral exploration: investigation of mineralogy, density, porosity, magnetic, electrical and acoustic properties of ore deposits and their host rocks, as a guide for mineral exploration (Gunawardana, Sara)

Selected Publications

  • Jenkins, L.E., Flemming, R.L. and McCausland, P.J.A. accepted. Quantitative in situ XRD Measurement of Shock Metamorphism in Martian Meteorites: Lattice Strain and Strain-Related Mosaicity in Olivine. Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
  • Fry, C., Samson, C., McCausland, P.J.A., Herd, R.K., Ralchenko, M. and McLeod, T.K. 2018. Iron meteorite bulk densities determined via 3D laser imaging, Meteoritics and Planetary Science v 53, doi: 10.1111/maps.13067
  • Oliver, P., Ralchenko, M., Samson, C., Ernst, R.E., McCausland, P.J.A. and West, G.F. 2018. Enhanced non-destructive characterization of ordinary chondrites using complex magnetic susceptibility measurements. Meteoritics and Planetary Science v 53, pp 433-447, doi: 10.1111/maps.13028
  • Charles, C.R.J., Robin, P., Davis, D.W. and McCausland, P.J.A. 2018. The 3D structure of metal shells in armoured chondrules from the NWA 801 CR2 chondrite. Meteoritics and Planetary Science v 53, pp 935-951, doi: 10.1111/maps.13038
  • McCausland, P.J.A. 2018. Fireballs. Observers Handbook 2018, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Ed. J.S. Edgar, pp 255-256.
  • Symons, D.T.A., Kawasaki, K, McCausland, P.J.A. and Hart, C.J.R. 2016. Paleopole for the 69 Ma Prospector Mountain Stock: A critique of the Carmacks / “Baja BC” transport estimate for Yukon, Canada. Geophysical Journal International v 208, pp 349–367, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw398
  • Pontefract, A., Osinski, G.R., Cockell, C.S., Southam, G., McCausland, P.J.A., Umoh, J. and Holdsworth, D.W. 2016. Microbial diversity of impact-generated habitats. Astrobiology v 16, pp 775-786, doi: 10.1089/ast.2015.1393
  • Bramble, M.S., Flemming, R.L. and McCausland, P.J.A. 2015. Grain size measurement from two-dimensional micro-X-ray diffraction: Laboratory application of a radial integration technique. American Mineralogist, v. 100, p. 1899-1911, doi:10.2138/am-2015-5181
  • Symons, D.T.A., McCausland, P.J.A.. Kawasaki, K. and Hart, C.R. 2015. Post-Triassic para-autochthoneity of the Yukon-Tanana Terrane: Paleomagnetism of the Early Cretaceous Quiet Lake Batholith. Geophysical Journal International, v 203, pp 312–326, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv296
  • McCausland, P.J.A. 2015. Fireballs. Observers Handbook 2015, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Ed. D.M.F. Chapman, pp 255-256.
  • Samson, C., Butler, S., Fry, C., McCausland, P.J.A., Herd, R.K., Sharomi, O., Spiteri, R.J. and Ralchenko, M. 2014. 3-D Laser images of splash-form tektites and their use in aerodynamic numerical simulations of tektite formation. Meteoritics and Planetary Science v 49, pp 740-749, doi: 10.1111/maps.12287
  • Jin, J., Harper, D.A.T., Cocks, L.R.M., McCausland, P.J.A., Rasmussen, C.M.Ø. and Sheehan, P.M. 2013. Locating the Late Ordovician equator in Laurentia using palaeobiological and palaeomagnetic data. Geology v 41, pp 107-110;  doi:10.1130/G33688.1 [highlighted in: Editor’s Choice, Science Dec 14, 2012]
  • McCausland P.J.A., Flemming, R.L., Wilson, G.C., Renaud, J., Dillon, D. and Holdsworth, D.W. 2013. The Wood Lake, Ontario H4 ordinary chondrite, a new Canadian meteorite. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences v 50, pp 32-43.
  • Wilson. G.C. and McCausland, P.J.A. 2013. Canadian meteorites: a brief review. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences v 50, pp 4-13.
  • Torsvik, T.H., Van der Voo, R., Preeden, U. and ten others. 2012. Phanerozoic Polar Wander, Paleogeography and Dynamics. Earth Science Reviews v. 114, pp 325-368.
  • Pisarevsky, S.A., McCausland, P.J.A., Hodych, J.P., O’Brien, S., Tait, J.A. and Murphy, J.B. 2012. Paleomagnetic study of the Late Neoproterozoic Bull Arm and Crown Hill Formations (Musgravetown Group) of eastern Newfoundland: implications for Avalonia and West Gondwana paleogeography. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences v. 49, 308-327.
  • Plint, A.G., Tyagi, A., McCausland, P.J.A., Krawetz, J.R., Zhang, H., Roca, X., Hu, G., Varban, B., Kreitner, M.A. and Hay, M.J. 2011. Dynamic relationship between subsidence, sedimentation, and unconformities in middle Cretaceous, shallow-marine strata of the Western Canada Foreland Basin and their possible tectonic causes, in: Recent Advances in Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins, C. Buxby and A. Azor, Eds. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • McCausland, P.J.A., Samson, C. and McLeod, T. 2011. Meteorite Small Fragment Bulk Density via Visible Light 3D Laser Imaging, Meteoritics and Planetary Science v. 46, pp 1097-1109, doi: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2011.01217.x
  • McCausland, P.J.A., Hankard, F., Van der Voo, R. and Hall, C.M. 2011. Ediacaran paleogeography of Laurentia: Paleomagnetism and 40Ar-39Ar geochronology of the 583 Ma Baie des Moutons syenite, Quebec. Precambrian Research, v. 187, pp 58-78, doi: 10.1016/j.precamres. 2011.02.004.
  • Brown, P.G., McCausland, P.J.A., Fries, M., Silber, E., Edwards, W.N., Wong, D.K., Wiegert, P., Weryk, R.J., Fries, J. and Krzeminski, Z. 2011. The Fall of the Grimsby Meteorite - I: Fireball dynamics and orbit from radar, video and infrasound records. Meteoritics and Planetary Science v. 46, pp 339-363, doi: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01167.
  • Izawa, M.R.M., Flemming, R.L., McCausland, P.J.A., Southam, G., Moser, D.E. and Barker, I.R. 2010. Multi-technique investigation reveals new mineral, chemical and textural heterogeneity in the Tagish Lake C2 chondrite. Planetary and Space Science, v. 58, pp 1347-1364.
  • McCausland, P.J.A. and Plotkin, H. 2009. The 1904 Shelburne (Ontario) L5 chondrite fall, revisited. Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, v. 103, pp 181-188.
  • Murphy, J.B., McCausland, P.J.A., O’Brien, S.J., Pisarevsky, S. and Hamilton, M.A. 2008. Age, geochemistry and Sm-Nd isotopic signature of the 0.76 Ga Burin Group: Compositional equivalent of Avalonian basement? Precambrian Research, v. 165, 37-48.
  • McCausland, P.J.A., Van der Voo, R. and Hall, C.M. 2007. Circum-Iapetus paleogeography of the Precambrian-Cambrian transition with a new paleomagnetic constraint from Laurentia. Precambrian Research, v. 156, pp 125-152.
  • Edwards, W.N., Eaton, D.W., McCausland, P.J.A., ReVelle, D.O. and Brown, P.G. 2007. Calibrating infrasonic to seismic coupling using the Stardust Sample Return Capsule shockwave: Implications for seismic observations of meteors. Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, v. 112, doi:10.1029/2006JB004621.
  • Levashova, N., Mikolaichuk, A.V., McCausland, P.J.A., Bazhenov, M.L. and Van der Voo, R. 2007. Devonian paleomagnetic results from the North Tien Shan and their implications for the paleogeography of Kazakhstan’s tectonic units with respect to Baltica. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 257, pp 104-120.
  • McCausland, P.J.A., Symons, D.T.A., Hart, C.J.R., and Blackburn, W.H. 2006. Assembly of the northern Cordillera: New paleomagnetic evidence for coherent, moderate Jurassic to Eocene motion of the Intermontane Belt and Yukon-Tanana terranes. In Geological Association of Canada Special Paper 46: Paleogeography of the North American Cordillera: Evidence For and Against Large-Scale Displacements, pp 145-168.
  • Symons, D.T.A., and McCausland, P.J.A. 2006. Paleomagnetism of the Fort Knox stock, Alaska, and rotation of the Yukon-Tanana terrane after 92.5 Ma. Tectonophysics. v. 419, pp 13-26.
  • McCausland, P.J.A., Murphy, J.B., and MacNiocaill, C. 2006. Preface: Endings and beginnings: Paleogeography of the Precambrian-Cambrian transition. Precambrian Research, v. 147, pp 187-192; doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2006.01.014.
  • McCausland, P.J.A., Brown, P.G., and Wilson, G.C. 2006. The Dresden (Ontario) H6 chondrite, Part II: Classification, estimated fireball trajectory, and possible origin. Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, v. 100, pp 104-113.
  • Hildebrand, A.R., McCausland, P.J.A., Brown, P.G., Longstaffe, F.J., Russell, S.D.J., Tagliaferri, E., Wacker, J.F., and Mazur, M.J. 2006. The fall and recovery of the Tagish Lake meteorite. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 41, pp 407-431.
  • McCausland, P.J.A., Symons, D.T.A., and Hart, C.J.R. 2005. Rethinking “Yellowstone in Yukon” and Baja British Columbia: Paleomagnetism of the Late Cretaceous Swede Dome stock, northern Canadian Cordillera. Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth, v. 110, B12107, doi:10.1029/2005JB003742.
  • Cawood, P.A., McCausland, P.J.A., and Dunning, G.R. 2001.Opening Iapetus: Constraints from the Laurentian margin in Newfoundland. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 113, pp 443-453.
  • Brown, P.G., and 21 others. 2000. The Fall, recovery, orbit, and composition of the Tagish Lake meteorite: A new type of Carbonaceous Chondrite. Science, v. 290, pp 320-325.
  • McCausland, P.J.A., and Hodych, J.P. 1998. Paleomagnetism of the 550 Ma Skinner Cove volcanics of western Newfoundland and the opening of the Iapetus Ocean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 163, pp 15-29.

Professional Affiliations

Current Students

  • Yaozhu Li, PhD Geology PlnSci Candidate (Co-Supervisor)