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Ph.D. Project: On the Sedimentary Record of Paleoproterozoic Atmospheric Oxygen and Climate Change in the Huronian Supergroup of Ontario and Quebec, start-September 2018, Carleton University

Project Description: The Huronian Supergroup represents one of the most complete and representative sedimentary successions of early Paleoproterozoic age anywhere on Earth, yet we have limited understanding of its’ absolute age, stratigraphy and environment of deposition. Within it, we find a record of 3, possibly global-scale, glaciations and intervening periods of climatic amelioration as well as the earliest evidence for oxygenation of Earth’s atmosphere.

Potential Research topics include: 1) Characterization of the nature and timing of the “Great Oxidation Event” or GOE and to determine if this changeover was a single, irreversible event or an oscillatory or stepwise process taking place over 10s or 100s of millions of years. 2) Description and interpretation of the depositional environments of the sedimentary rocks that span the GOE time interval and determine whether they can be related to the atmospheric changeover. 3) To determine the age and provenance of source detritus in the Huronian basin, as a means of evaluating sedimentation pathways and tectonic models of basin development.

Essential Background: Master’s Degree in some aspect of clastic sedimentary geology with field experience, preferably working in remote wilderness areas.

Knowledge of: Geochronology, inorganic geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, climatology and sedimentary petrography.

Additional Notes: Funded by NSERC Discovery Grant providing a yearly stipend that includes support for several weeks of summer fieldwork. Based at Carleton University, Ottawa ON.

Contact: Robert Rainbird, Dr. Rainbird is a research scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario and has been an adjunct professor in Carleton University’s Earth Science Department for more than 20 years.