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Sedimentary Geology

Our research is focussed on all aspects of sedimentary geology, including basin analysis, process-oriented sedimentology, stratigraphy, sedimentary geochemistry, diagenesis, paleobiology, and the study mineralisation hosted in sedimentary rock, with special expertise in Precambrian sedimentary systems.

We cover both the spheres of carbonate and clastic sedimentology, with special expertise in Precambrian sedimentary systems. Our research is strongly field–based, predominantly in remote, understudied areas such as the Canadian Arctic, and central Africa; our collective boots-on-the-ground experience encompasses >35 years of remote field research.

Research related to carbonate, evaporite, and shale basins focusses on Proterozoic to lower Paleozoic systems in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and central Africa. Topics of particular interest include the tectonostratigraphic dynamics of whole basins through time, the physical, biological, and geochemical evolution of carbonate and evaporite paleoenvironments from the Mesoproterozoic to lower Paleozoic, and the deep-time evolution of reef systems and microbially-mediated carbonate microstructures. 

Research in clastic sedimentology is motivated by questions such as: what were the shape and sedimentary dynamics of Precambrian sedimentary landscapes? Can they be compared, at least to some extent, to extra-terrestrial realms or modern deserts? These questions are addressed through analysis of Precambrian fluvial and aeolian rocks, which are magnificently exposed near our campus in Sudbury and throughout northern Canada. Field work in northern Canada is complemented by studies of sedimentary provenance, with a particular focus on the detrital-zircon geochronology. We also have a wide expertise on the remote-sensing-assisted analysis of modern sedimentary processes, which gives us a solid base for geomorphologic studies related to landscape change at scale of years or decades. 

Research on sedimentary-rock-hosted ore districts and deposits includes (a) regional study of the factors controlling the spatial distribution of mineralisation in entire districts (stratigraphy, lithofacies, structure), and (b) study of ore-forming and diagenetic fluids, using a new in-situ microanalytical protocol developed at HES that allows characterisation of mineral-precipitating fluids at an unprecedented level of detail.


Sedimentology and Remote Sensing Lab

Surface processes such as weathering, erosion, and deposition have sculpted the face of the Earth for billions of years. Sediments and landforms are an extremely valuable archive to understand the past, the present, and the future of our planet. We are part of the Harquail School of Earth Sciences at Laurentian University, and we promote a novel integration between physical sedimentology, time-lapse remote sensing, and geophysical modelling.

Our favorite field sites are in the Canadian Arctic and the Great Basin of western USA. There, we conduct core research in the fields of Precambrian geology, Earth and planetary geomorphology, and watershed biogeochemistry. Student applications to join our lab are welcomed year-round.

Visit the lab website



Faculty & Research Scientists

  • Faculty


    • Alessandro Ielpi
      Assistant Professor, Sedimentology

      I am a fluvial sedimentologist currently investigating Precambrian- to Palaeozoic- river morphodynamics in various areas including Arctic and Atlantic Canada, UK, and northern Europe. I am also interested in the study of extra-terrestrial and modern analogue modelling of pre-Silurian rivers.

    • Elizabeth C. Turner

      Dr Turner is a field-based geologist with 30 years of research experience in remote parts of Canada's northern territories. Specialisation in dynamics of Proterozoic and Paleozoic carbonate and shale basins, including the information they encode about Earth's deep-time geochemical, tectonic, and paleobiological evolution, and their ore-deposit potential.

  • PhD Candidates

    PhD Candidates

    • Sarah Clay
      PhD Candidate

      FROM: Luton, United Kingdom. GRADUATED FROM: University of Leicester, United Kingdom. CURRENT RESEARCH: Mineralising fluids of the Kamoa-Kakula copper deposit, Democratic Republic of Congo. SUPERVISORS: Dr. Elizabeth Turner and Dr. Daniel Kontak

    • Jordan Mathieu
      Jordan Mathieu
      PhD candidate in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

      FROM: Sudbury, ON. GRADUATED FROM: Laurentian University (BSc, MSc). CURRENT RESEARCH: Fluid history of three Canadian metallotects. SUPERVISORS: Dr. Elizabeth Turner and Dr. Daniel Kontak

  • MSc Students

    MSc Students

    • Mélanie Bouchard
      MSc candidate Geology

      FROM: Ramore, ON. GRADUATED FROM: Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON. CURRENT RESEARCH: Lower Paleozoic stratigraphy in Mackenzie Mountains front ranges and interior plains, NWT. SUPERVISORS: Dr. Elizabeth Turner and Robert MacNaughton

    • Natasha Cyples
      Natasha Cyples
      MSc candidate Geology

      FROM: Waterloo, ON. GRADUATED FROM: McMaster University, Hamilton, ON (BSc). CURRENT RESEARCH: Morphodynamic evolution of the Kicking Horse River, BC. An integration of ground-penetrating radar, remote sensing and gauging record analysis. SUPERVISORS: Dr. Alessandro Ielpi and Dr. Randy Dirszowsky

    • Robert Meek
      Robert Meek
      MSc candidate Geology

      From Kincardine Ontario, Robert is currently studying the sedimentology and stratigraphy of the Husky Creek Formation in Nunavut Canada. The key objective of this research will be to characterize the depositional, tectonic, and basin setting of the Husky Creek Formation, which will be achieved through sedimentological, stratigraphic, and structural analysis.

    • Sophie Michel
      MSc candidate Geology

      Current Research: Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and economic potential of the Kimerot Group, Kilohigok Basin (Bear Creek Hills, Bathurst Inlet, Nunavut)

    • Philippe Trudel
      Philippe Trudel
      MSc candidate Geology

      From: Pembroke, Ontario Graduated from: Laurentian University (BSc) Research: Detrital and igneous geochronology of the Kamoa copper deposit, Democratic Republic of Congo Supervisor: Dr. Elizabeth Turner

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