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Study Tour


This year’s study tour visited Northern Ontario, an area within the Canadian Shield or Laurentian Plateau. The Canadian Shield is a U-shaped region of ancient rock, the nucleus of North America, stretching north from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean. Covering more than half of Canada, it also includes most of Greenland and extends into the United States as the Adirondack Mts. and the Superior Highlands. The first part of North America to be permanently elevated above sea level, it has remained almost wholly untouched by successive encroachments of the sea upon the continent. It is the earth's greatest area of exposed Archaean-age rock; the metamorphic rocks of which it is largely composed were probably formed in the Precambrian era. Repeatedly uplifted and eroded, it is today an area of low relief (c.1,000-2,000 ft/305-610 m above sea level) with a few monadnocks and low mountain ranges (including the Torngat and Laurentian Mts.) probably eroded from the plateau during the Cenozoic era. During the Pleistocene epoch, continental ice sheets depressed the land surface, scooped out thousands of lake basins, and carried away much of the region's soil. Drainage is generally very poor on the shield. The southern part of the shield has thick forests while the north is covered with tundra. The region is largely undeveloped but has great water-power potential and is a source of minerals, timber, and fur-bearing animals. The trip began in Sault Ste. Marie and ended in Sudbury, Ontario, which is part of a large geological structure known as the Sudbury Basin, believed to be the remnants of a 1.85-billion year old meteorite impact crater.

Visual Tour


Reading List

Homage to Robert M. Garrels: Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 2005. 33:1-36
doi: 10.1146/
Richard Ernst and Keith Bell, Petrology of Grea Abitibi
Dyke, Superior Province, Canada: Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre and
Department of Geology, University of Ottawa
: August 1991
Henry C Halls and Donald W Davis, Paleomagnetism and U-Pb
geochronology of the 2.17 Ga Biscotasing dyke swarm..., Canadian Journal of
Earth Sciences; Mar 2004; 41, 3; Sciences Module pg. 255
David L. Huston , Graham A. Logan, Barite, BIFs and bugs:
evidence for the evolution of the Earth's early hydrosphere Earth and
Planetary Science Letters 220 (2004) 41^55
Field Guide Section: Espanola, Whitefish Falls and
Manitoulin Island
Sault Ste Marie/Sudbury Map
Anthony J. Naldrett, From Impact to Riches: Evolution of
Geological Understanding as Seen at Sudbury, Canada GSA TODAY, February 2003
B Nitescu; H C Halls, A gravity profile across southern
Saganash Lake fault: Implications for the ... Canadian Journal of Earth
Sciences; Apr 2002; 39, 4; Sciences Module, pg. 469
Northern Ontario Field Trip Guide, Guidebook prepared for
the VIIIth International Kimberlite Conference, Geological Survey of Canada,
Northern Ontario Field Trip, June 29 - July 5, 2003,
J.A. Percival and K.D. Card, Archean crust as revealed in
the Kapuskasing uplift, Superior province, Canada, Geology, v 11, p 323-326,
June 1983
Amir Sagy, Jay Fineberg, and Ze'ev Reches, Shatter cones:
Branched, rapid fractures formed by shock impact, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL
RESEARCH, VOL. 109, B10209, doi:10.1029/2004JB003016, 2004
Guide Section: White River to Wawa



Day 1, July 28: (SSM) Fly to Sault St. Marie
Day 2, July 29: (SSM to Wawa) Drive to Wawa, archean flows/dikes, banded iron formation
Day 3, July 30: (WAWA to Timmins) Drive to Timmins, Lower crust granulites
Day 4, July 31: (Timmins) Munro township: komatiites
Day 5, August 1: (Timmins to Finlayson Pt. Provincial Park) Timmins
to kimberlites near Timmins, Kirkland lake, New Liskeard/Hailebury/Cobalt.
Day 6: August 2: (New Liskeard/Hailebury/Cobalt (or Temagami) to Sudbury-Windy Lake Provincial Park), check glacial features, dikes
Day 7: August 3: (Sudbury) Falconbridge Mine Tours
Day 8: August 4: (Sudbury)
Day 9: August 5: Fly back from Sudbury to Boston




Rowena Lohman
Laurent Montesi
Hartley Hoskins
Andrew Daly
Graham Layne


Caleb Mills
Andrea L. Llenos
Lynne Elkins
Clare Williams
Peter Canovas
Daniel Rogers
Paul Craddock