Technical Sessions

Session 1 : Environmental Issues
El1: The Transport and Fate of Contaminants in the Natural Environment – Heather Jamieson (Queen’s); Jennifer Galloway (GSC). Limiting the impact of natural resource development and remediating former industrial sites requires an understanding of the geological and microbiological processes controlling contaminant mobility. This session focus on monitoring and characterizing the transport, fate, and impact of potentially hazardous materials in the environment to enhance the protection of ecological and human health. The keynote speaker for this session will be Dr. Karen Hudson-Edwards and is sponsored by the Environmental Earth Science Division of the Geological Association of Canada.
El2: Proxies of Past Environments – Brian Cumming (Queen’s); Lisa Neville (GSC); Jennifer Galloway (GSC). Understanding environmental variability during the Quaternary informs land-use decision making and response to current and future changes. Proxies of past environments preserved in various environmental media, including lake and marine sediments, ice cores, and tree-rings, can provide a detailed long-term perspective on Earth’s processesThis session will feature new research on the development and applications of paleoenvironmental proxies for characterizing past environmental conditions.
El3: Surficial Geological Investigation and Groundwater Studies: Applications from contaminate to regional water supply studies – Hazen Russell (GSC); Dave Sharpe (GSC); Andy Bajc (OGS). The importance of understanding geologic controls on surface and groundwater flows, and how geologic frameworks can be used to predict where significant recharge and discharge areas occur, as well as where aquifers are more susceptible to surface contamination is broadly recognized. The session will focus on the Quaternary geology and groundwater, updates on geological frameworks, the implications for aquifer /aquitard distribution, connectivity, and heterogeneity. This session is sponsored by the Canadian Sedimentology Research Group of the GAC.
Session 2: Quaternary Systems
QS1: Glacial Processes and Deposits: Advances and Applications – Isabelle McMartin (GSC); Roger Paulen (GSC); Janet Campbell (GSC); Nick Eyles (U of T); Martin Ross (Waterloo). A considerable portion of the Earth surface was once affected by glaciers, ice sheets or ice shelves during its recent and past history, and modern ice sheets still cover most of Greenland and Antarctica. This session welcomes papers related to any aspect of glacial processes and deposits with a focus on emerging approaches in glacial landsystem studies, modern and past glacial environments, and applications of economic and environmental significance. The keynote speaker for this session will be Dr. John Menzies (Brock University). This session is sponsored by Canadian Sedimentology Research Group.
QS2: Climate Change and the Response of Earth-Surface Processes in the Arctic – Melissa Lafrenier (Queen’s), Scott Lamoureux (Queen’s) The Arctic is warming at an accelerated pace relative to the rest of the globe. Climate change in the Arctic is causing changes to both the thermal regime of surficial materials and hydrology. This session welcomes submissions on a broad range of topics pertaining to the response of earth-surface processes and environments to recent climate change in the Arctic including geomorphic, sedimentary and biogeochemical processes Examination of the physical and biogeochemical responses of permafrost to warming will be an important component of the session.

Session 3: Geochemical Systems
GS1: Magmatic and Metallogenic Processes Associated with Large Igneous Provinces –Marie-Claude Williamson, (GSC), Christopher Lawley, (GSC), Danielle Giovenazzo (Newgenco), Richard Ernst (Carleton University), Sverre Planke (University of Oslo), Steven Bergman (Shell USA). Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) are characterized by the catastrophic emplacement of large volumes of mafic magma in the continental and oceanic domains. We invite contributions that link magmatic processes to ore deposit genesis in LIPs, and that inform our understanding of tectonostratigraphic, structural, and geochemical controls on these processes and the environmental impact of continental flood basalt magmatism through time. This session is sponsored by the Volcanology and Igneous Petrology (VIP) Division of the GAC and the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI).
GS2: Drivers and Effects of Ancient and Modern Hydrothermal Processes– Jan Peter (GSC); Dan Layton-Matthews (Queen’s). This session will explore the impact of near-surface hydrothermal processes, and their manifestation on the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Both oral and poster contributions that focus on water sources and their physico-chemical properties, circulation drivers and pathways, duration and effects of water-rock interaction, including hydrothermal alteration, mineral deposit formation, and other hydrothermal products such as exhalites. The goal of this session is to solicit presentations that link the impacts of large-scale hydrothermal drivers, such as tectonic and metallogenic evolution with small-scale drivers effects, such as roles of biota and vent-site geology.
GS3: Source to Trap: Geochemical Evolution of Basin Systems – Dan Layton-Matthews (Queen’s); Suzanne Paradis (GSC). Global sedimentary basins are host to a variety of mineral deposit types and petroleum resources. They play a major role in the economic prosperity of countries, and multidisciplinary exploration and research topics. In this session, we seek contributions (both oral and poster are welcome) in all fields of research related to the resources in sedimentary basins. We welcome all contributions on geological processes that include complex physical and chemical mechanisms for trap formation, and those factors that drive the generation, migration, and accumulations of metal and hydrocarbons.
Session 4: Tectonics
T1: Development of Accretionary Orogens: a Symposium Celebrating the Career of Cees van Staal – Brendan Murphy (St. Francis Xavier); Shoufa Lin (Waterloo); Alex Zagorevsky (GSC); David Schofield (BGS). This technical session celebrates the outstanding contributions of Cees van Staal to the understanding of orogenic processes. We welcome the presentation of new data and concepts concerning the development of modern and ancient accretionary orogens. This session is sponsored by the Canadian Tectonics Group and by IGCP 648, Project 648 – Supercontinent Cycles and Global Geodynamics and the Precambrian division of the Geological Association of Canada.
T2: The Metamorphic Architecture of Orogenic Belts– Dawn Kellett (GSC) ; Natasha Wodicka (GSC). This session is a tribute to Becky Jamieson and her outstanding career contributions to geoscience through her field-based research on the metamorphic architecture of orogenic belts and the geodynamical drivers of heat and metamorphism during collision. This session will explore the links between crustal metamorphism, magmatism and the thermal and tectonic processes that control orogenesis involving interdisciplinary and novel field-based, analytical, and numerical approaches in collisional orogens. This session is sponsored by the Canadian Tectonics Group and the Precambrian Division of the GAC. Keynote speakers for this session include: Clare Warren (The Open University), Aphrodite Indares (Memorial University), Mike Williams (University of Massachusetts).
T3: Archean Cratons and Their Rifted Margins: Stratigraphic Systems, Tectonics, Secular Evolution and Metallogeny – Wouter Bleeker (GSC), Mike Hamilton (U of T). The Archean cratons of North America formed as part of larger late Archean continental landmasses (supercratons). Rifting and eventual breakup of these ancestral supercratons isolated the Archean cratons, a subset of which later reassembled into supercontinent Nuna during the latter part of the Paleoproterozoic era—an evolution that represents a full Wilson Cycle. This session will focus on this entire early Wilson Cycle, across a time span (ca. 2.50-1.75 Ga) that saw dramatic secular evolution of the planet. We seek contributions presenting new data on the various margins of the Superior craton and other Archean craton margins. This session is sponsored by the Precambrian division of the GAC and the Canadian Tectonics Group.
T4: Fault Architecture, Mechanics, Fluids, and Seismicity – Laurent Godin (Queen’s); Jamie Kirkpatrick (McGill); Isabelle Coutand (Dalhousie). Faults are sites of localized motion, both at the Earth’s surface and at depth. Understanding faults and their underlying processes is consequently of utmost social and economic importance. This special session focuses on the use of multi-faceted approaches to gain a better understanding of how faults operate at various scales and depths including fault architecture and deformation mechanisms ranging from ductile creeping processes to brittle rupture; fault reactivation; analogue and numerical modelling of faulting processes; faults at both plate boundaries and within continental interiors; dating faults and constraining fault-slip rates; fault-controlled landscape evolution; the role of fluids and heat in controlling fault-slip behaviour; seismicity; and the societal implications of faults as conduits/barriers for fluid flow, their control on resource localization, and as geologic hazards. This session is sponsored by the Canadian Tectonics Group. Keynote speakers for this session include: Djordje Grujic (Dalhousie), Joseph Clancy White (UNB), Ed Nissen (UVic), Alexis Ault (Utah State U).

Session 5: Earth Surface Systems Past and Present
ESS1: Sedimentary Depositional Systems: Local to Basin Scale – Noel James (Queen’s); Robert Dalrymple (Queen’s). Sedimentary depositional systems throughout geologic history record the complex interactions between near-surface physical, biological, and geochemical processes with the resulting deposits as proxies for terrestrial and marine environments as well as climate and oceanography on the evolving earth. This session will be a venue for researchers and interested practitioners to exchange the latest ideas about links between depositional processes, environmental context, and the nature of the deposits at scales ranging from local facies to basin-scale stratigraphic organization ranging in age from the Archean to the modern. Keynote speakers for this session include: Benoit Beauchamp (University of Calgary), Steve Hubbard (University of Calgary), Janok Bhattacharya (McMaster University) and Peir Pufhal (Acadia University). This session is sponsored by the Canadian Sedimentology Research Group (CSRG) and the Precambrian Division of the GAC.
ESS2: Diagenesis – Steve Beyer (Queen’s); Eric E. Hiatt (University of Wisconsin), Charlie Jefferson (GSC). Understanding the nature of the physical, mineralogical, and geochemical changes caused by diagenesis is key to interpreting an ever-broadening spectrum of processes involving paleoenvironmental proxies, the paleohydrology of sedimentary basins, the origin of sedimentary-hosted mineral deposits, the impacts of CO2 storage, and groundwater systems to name a few. We invite contributions that reflect the current breadth of diagenetic studies in siliciclastic, carbonate, and evaporite successions and the latest mineralogical and geochemical techniques to diagenetic and integrated basin analysis studies. In particular, the role of microbes in the broader geosphere-biosphere processes involved in the upper several kilometers of the Earth’s crust are encouraged. Keynote speakers for this session will include: David Quirt (AREVA Resources Canada) and Fred Longstaffe (University of Western Ontario). This session is sponsored by Canadian Sedimentology Research Group.
ESS3: Patterns, Processes, Biases and Trends in the Fossil Record – Marc Laflamme (University of Toronto Mississauga). Interpreting patterns and trends in the fossil record requires an understanding of the processes that result in fossilization, and the biases incurred when translating life into rock. The fossil record provides the raw data to test the responses of life to global-scale perturbations such as ocean acidification & anoxia, aridification, and climate change. Fossils are pivotal to interpreting the biology of long extinct organisms, and allowing for robust interpretations of the natural history of all life on Earth. This session seeks paleontologists who study the patterns and trends in the fossil record. Ultimately, our session will showcase the pivotal role of paleontology in understanding the response of our planet to the current biodiversity crisis. Keynote speakers for this session will include: James Schiffbauer (University of Missouri) and Simon Darroch (Vanderbilt University). This session is sponsored by the Paleontology Division of the GAC.
Session 6: Geological Engineering
GE1: Geometallurgy – From Exploration to Remediation – Gema Olivo (Queen’s); Tassos Grammatikopoulos (SGS). Environmental and socio-economic demands in the exploitation of future mineral resources require comprehensive mineralogical and geochemical knowledge about the ore body. Geometallurgy is the scientific discipline that integrates all of the mineralogical, geological, mining and processing data to generate quantitative information that allows optimization of production planning and environmental management of a project through its entire life, thereby reducing operational risks, optimizing recovery efficiency, and minimizing environmental damage. The aim of this session is focused on: (i) new instrumental, experimental and numerical techniques to evaluate mineral deposits; (ii) quantitative mineralogical and geochemical approaches at various scales; and (iii) case studies on mineral exploration, resource estimation, mining, ore processing, optimization of processes and recovery of tailings and waste rock, remediation, carbon capture and storage related to energy and mineral resources.
GE2: Geology of Canada in 3D: new geoscience compilations and related digital tools and methods – Rob Harrap (Queen’s), Boyan Brodaric (NRCan), Dave Synder (NRCan), Marc St-Onge (NRCan), Hazen Russell (NRcan). Geological surveys and academic researchers are increasingly producing regional scale compilations in the form of 2D maps and 3D geological models. Topics addressed in this session include how geological models are conceptualized and delivered. Investigations may range from attempts to build ‘Canada in 3D’ down to the scale of an individual outcrop, and include discussions of how we can capture, integrate, analyze, synthesize and deliver high quality geological interpretations to support effective decision making by experts. Submissions are invited across the spectrum from compilation approaches through innovative applications of technology towards geoscience model construction. Case studies grounded in field examples are especially encouraged. Keynote speakers for this session include: Harvey Thorleifson (Minnesota Geological Survey), Ed Sudicky (University of Waterloo). This session is sponsored by the Precambrian Division, the Canadian Tectonics Group, the Canadian Sedimentary Research Group, the Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW), the Solid Earth Section of the CGU and the Geomatics Section, all affiliated with the GAC, and by the Environment and Engineering Geoplogy Division of the GSA.
GE3: Engineering Geology for Safe Underground Storage of Nuclear Waste – Mark Diederichs (Queen’s University); Mark Jensen (Nuclear Waste Management Organization). The safe long-term management of radioactive waste generated for over 50 years in more than 20 countries remains a challenging environmental issue. Progress internationally during the last several decades has seen considerable effort focused on the development of Deep Geologic Repositories (DGRs), in which engineered and natural barriers are purposefully designed to safely contain and isolate waste forms for time periods on the order of 1 million years at depths typically between 400 and 700 m. The evaluation of the DGR design and long-term performance requires a multidisciplinary approach in which various lines of evidence from field and laboratory characterization of geosphere, numerical simulation and site-specific analogues are assembled to establish an understanding of geosphere past evolution, present state and future evolution under repository perturbed conditions. This session seeks to bring together a representative array of scientists and engineers involved in this integrated geoscience approach to modern DGR geosphere assessment, highlighting the many lines-of-reasoning applied in this important challenge.
GE4: Geohazard Assessment and Engineering – Jean Hutchinson (Queen’s University); Andrée Blais-Stevens (GSC/NRC). Geohazards are increasingly in the news with dramatic impacts on human population and infrastructure. Geohazards in Canada include hazards involving geotechnical, hydrological, tectonic, snow and ice, and geochemical processes that can affect public safety, infrastructure and the environment. Many hazards such as landslides and rockfalls routinely impact Canadians in the form of human safety and damage to roads and rail corridors. Other potential hazards such as major seismic events are recognized and accounted for in planning and building codes. This session aims to highlight the importance of geological input into geohazard assessment and engineering through development of the geological model, geological constraints and inputs into historical hazard analysis, emerging assessment and monitoring techniques, risk assessment, and integration of mitigation solutions into the landscape.
Special Lectures: Past, Present and Future Status of the GSC
Roger Paulen (Geological Survey of Canada); Robin Riddihough (Geological Survey of Canada, retired). Geology, and the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), have played a critical role in the history and development of Canada. The exploration by the GSC of a massive landmass with a vast and diverse range of geological resources, ensured and helped to build the country we have today. Founded in 1842 in Kingston, the GSC is Canada’s oldest scientific institution. With a long and extraordinary record of scientific accomplishment and discovery it has provided basic information on the Canadian landmass for use by all Canadians. This session of invited speakers celebrates the accomplishments of the Geological Survey of Canada and its contribution to the well-being of Canadians over the last 175 years.

Special Session: SS1: Outreach and Education Topics in Geo-science and Geo-engineering
Mark Badham (Miller Museum of Geology, Queen’s University). Raising the profile of Earth Sciences and Engineering as a career option with students of all ages is an important endeavour for everyone who currently works in these fields. Attracting the next generation of industry workers and researchers depends on it. Once a student has enrolled in a geology or geological engineering program at a post-secondary institution, it is equally important to employ engaging and innovative teaching methods and activities in order to retain the student in the program until graduation. This session will explore all topics related to public outreach (e.g. websites, participation in science outreach days, public lectures, popular course development to attract students from other disciplines, etc.). Innovative teaching methods and activities for use in labs and lectures are also welcome in this session. The session will run during the afternoon of Monday, May 15, 2017, in the Richard Milne Geo-Science Education Classroom at the Miller Museum of Geology, Miller Hall, Queen’s University.

*For information on how to submit an abstract, please contact Mark Badham:

Outreach Session: Teacher Professional Development Workshop
Mark Badham (Miller Museum of Geology, Queen’s University). A full day workshop will be offered as a professional development opportunity for elementary and secondary school teachers (maximum 25 participants) on Saturday May 13th at the Miller Museum of Geology. Topics will include the basics of rocks, minerals and fossils, as well as more advanced geological concepts such as “deep time”, plate tectonics and other geological processes. Each participant will receive a kit of rocks, minerals and fossils for their classroom, as well as classroom activity outlines that make use of the materials in the kit. Participants in the Saturday workshop are strongly encouraged to take part in the Kingston area geological field trip “Bedrock to Beaches: Local Geology of the Kingston area” that takes place the next day on Sunday May 14th.

Cost of registration will be $60, and registration information will be available soon. If you are interested in attending this course, please send a “no obligation” initial email to Mark Badham ( at the Miller Museum. Registration preference will be given primarily to current teachers, and teacher candidates who will soon be graduating. If spots are available, interested members of the general public may also be accepted for this course.

*For information on how to submit an abstract, please contact Mark Badham: