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Home >> Research >> Structure and Tectonics

Structure and Tectonics


Our research requires extensive regional to outcrop-scale mapping to understand the structural evolution of the crust and the control of structures on ore deposit formation.

Structural geology is probably the most field-work intensive branch of geology that requires plenty of boot-on-the-ground work. This type of research requires extensive regional to outcrop-scale mapping during which we draw maps and sketches, describe, measure and interpret the observed structural elements. The structural measurements are generally presented on both maps and stereonet plots.

Our research activities focus on the structural evolution of ore deposits and the hosting terrains. Ore deposits are always controlled by structures, although the role and importance of these structural elements vary among the different deposit types. Understanding the structural control of ore bodies is crucial because such knowledge facilitates the discovery of new resources and new ore deposits. Large, regional-scale structural studies aim to understand the tectonic processes driving ore-forming processes and contribute to the understanding of the assembly and disintegration of geological provinces. 

Our studies span geographically across Canada, and include research projects in the structurally complex greenstone belts of the Paleoproterozoic Flin Flon belt, and the Archean Superior and Rae Provinces. Other graduate students study the Proterozoic Southern Province, the Sudbury impact structure and the Thelon basin.


Faculty & Research Scientists

  • Faculty


    • Bruno Lafrance
      Dr. Bruno Lafrance
      Associate Director Research Metal Earth, Professor

      My research focusses on understanding deformation processes involved in the genesis and subsequent deformation of ore deposits and their host rocks. Ore deposits generally form in tectonically active environments. Tectonic structures, such as faults, directly control the genesis of ore deposits because they act as conduits for the flow and migration of hydrothermal fluids.

    • Jeremy P. Richards
      Jeremy P. Richards
      Canada Research Chair in Metallogeny

      Jeremy Richards joined Laurentian University in 2017. His research focuses on regional tectonomagmatic controls on the formation of ore deposits, with a current emphasis on porphyry copper and epithermal gold deposits in the Middle East to China, and North and South America. He also has a research interest in the socioeconomic impacts of mining on local communities and nations.

    • Douglas Tinkham
      Douglas K. Tinkham
      Director, Harquail School of Earth Sciences

      Dr. Tinkham arrived at Laurentian in 2005. His research is in the broad field of metamorphic geology, where he specializes in the application of thermodynamic calculations to investigate metamorphic processes and the pressure-temperature-composition evolution of rocks during metamorphism.

    • Perrouty
      Stéphane Perrouty
      Assistant Professor

      Joining Laurentian University in January 2018 as assistant professor of Precambrian Geology, Stephane's multidisciplinary research involves structural geology, mineralogy, lithogeochemistry, applied geophysics, and three-dimensional modeling to understand tectonic processes associated with Precambrian ore deposits.

  • Post Doctoral Fellows

    Post Doctoral Fellows

    • Xiaohui Zhou
      Xiaohui Zhou
      Research Associate, Metal Earth

      Xiaohui's research interest lies in structural control and modification of mineral deposits in Precambrian terranes. His research is based on detailed geological mapping at various scales in several Archean regions, including Alasha Block (West Inner Mongolia, China), Rice Lake greenstone belt (Southeast Manitoba, Canada), Abitibi greenstone belt (Quebec, Canada) and Pontiac Subprovince (Quebec, Canada).

  • PhD Candidates

    PhD Candidates

    • Carol-Anne Genereux
      Carol-Anne Généreux
      PhD candidate in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

      Carol-Anne graduated from McGill University in 2010 with a B.Sc. degree. She was then employed for five years in industry before coming to Laurentian University to start her Ph.D. degree. While in industry, she worked for three year on the world-class Red Lake gold deposit, as a production and then a mine exploration geologist with Goldcorp.

    • Evan Hastie
      Evan Hastie
      PhD candidate in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

      FROM: Hanover, Ontario GRADUATED FROM: University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario (BSc and MSc) CURRENT RESEARCH: Gold Metallogeny of the Southern Swayze Greenstone Belt, Abitibi Subprovince SUPERVISORS: Dr. Bruno Lafrance / Dr. Daniel Kontak

    • Rebecca Hunter
      Rebecca Hunter
      PhD candidate in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

      I am a geologist with over 12 years’ experience in uranium exploration. The majority of my experience was managing Cameco Corporation’s Turqavik-Aberdeen exploration project in the northeast Thelon Basin area from 2006 to 2014. Two new high-grade, unconformity-related uranium discoveries (Tatiggaq and Qavvik), as well as numerous zones of anomalous alteration and structural complexity were found during my tenure as Project Geologist.

    • Kate Rubingh
      Kate Rubingh
      PhD candidate in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

      FROM: England. GRADUATED FROM: Durham University, England (MSci Geological Sciences), Queen's University (MSc Mineral Exploration). SPECIALITIES: Structural Geology, Economic Geology. CURRENT RESEARCH: Structural controls on Gold Mineralization at the Snow Lake Mine, Flin Flon- Snow Lake Greenstone Belt, Manitoba, Canada. SUPERVISOR: Dr. Bruno Lafrance and Dr. Harold Gibson

    • Margaret Stewart
      Margaret Stewart
      PhD candidate in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

      FROM: Ottawa, Ontario GRADUATED FROM: Carleton University (BSc) CURRENT RESEARCH: The volcanic and deformation history, geodynamic setting, and metallogenesis of the Upper Chisel Sequence, Snow Lake, Manitoba, Canada SUPERVISORS: Dr. Harold Gibson/Dr. Bruno Lafrance

    • Zsuzsanna Tóth
      Zsuzsanna Toth
      PhD candidate in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology

      My PhD focuses on the structural control, mineral assemblage, geochemical footprint and geochronology of the Hardrock orogenic gold deposit. It also provides insight into the regional structural and geodynamic evolution of the Beardmore-Geraldton greenstone belt through U-Pb zircon geochronology of metasedimentary and igneous rocks and geochemistry of granitoid intrusions/dikes.

  • MSc Students

    MSc Students

    • Ian Chappell
      Ian Chappell
      MSc candidate Geology

      FROM: Buckhorn, Ontario. GRADUATED FROM: Carleton University, Ottawa. CURRENT RESEARCH: Structure and timing of Archean gold bearing veins at the Grey Fox and Hislop Deposits, Matheson Ontario. SUPERVISORS: Dr. Bruno Lafrance and Dr. Dan Kontak

    • Marshall Hall
      Marshall Hall
      MSc candidate Geology

      FROM: Sudbury, Ontario. GRADUATED FROM: Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario. CURRENT RESEARCH: Emplacement mechanisms and spatial and temporal relationships between low sulphide and sharp walled vein systems in Footwall mineralization in the Sudbury Camp. SUPERVISORS: Dr. Bruno Lafrance and Dr. Harold Gibson

    • Christopher Kelly
      Christopher Kelly
      MSc candidate Geology

      My project is focused on characterizing the geochemistry and alteration present at the Archean Hislop and Grey Fox gold deposits in Matheson, Ontario, under the supervision of Dan Kontak and Bruno Lafrance. The goal of my project is to come up with a genetic model for gold emplacement at the two deposits and how they relate to each other and to other deposits in the Abitibi, as well as identify potential vectors towards mineralization.

    • William Thomas Ogilvie
      William Thomas Ogilvie
      MSc candidate Geology

      My current research is on brittle deformation and the associated hydrothermal mineralisation of gold and uranium in the southern Tantato Domain of northern, Saskatchewan. The project is supervised by Dr. Bruno Lafrance and Dr. Daniel Kontak.

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