Dr. Gabriel dos Santos: Research Talk

Research Talk

Title: "Plate tectonics through an igneous petrology lens: From Brazil to Newfoundland"
Presented by: Dr. Gabriel dos Santos (Candidate for Tenure Track position in Earth & Environmental Science)
Location & Time: Huggins Science Hall Room 336, 4:00 p.m.

Plate tectonics has been the fundamental paradigm in geology since its emergence in the late 1960’s. The study of plate tectonics requires collaboration between several distinct fields, including field geology, geophysics, structural geology, sedimentology, and metamorphic petrology. During my career, I have studied plate tectonics though an igneous petrology perspective.
As in undergraduate student, I have conducted mapping and geochemistry projects in Archean greenstone belts, Archean cratons, and in Neoproterozoic iron formations in Brazil. For my MSc at Acadia University, I mapped and elaborated a petrologic and tectonic model for the formation of the rapakivi-bearing Margaree Pluton in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. I demonstrated the rapakivi texture was formed as a result of magma mingling, and that the pluton formed during the late stages of the Acadian Orogeny in the Northern Appalachians. During my PhD at the University of Waterloo, I studied the Liuyuan Complex, located in the southern edge of the Central Asia Orogenic Belt, NW China. I produced the first detailed map of the Liuyuan Complex, providing the first description of a sheeted dyke complex and firmly establishing it as an ophiolite. Together with my colleagues and collaborators in China and Canada, I proposed a new integrated tectonic model for the late stages in the evolution of the Central Asia Orogenic Belt. My MSc and PhD work have been recognized with two Gelinas Medals from the Volcanology and Igneous Petrology division of the Geological Association of Canada, awarded for the best thesis in igneous topics in Canada; silver medal for MSc in 2019 and gold medal for PhD in 2023. As a project geologist for the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador, I am leading a major bedrock mapping project in the Bay d’Espoir area, in south central Newfoundland. The major goals of the project are to provide and updated geochemistry and geochronology database of the area and an updated the bedrock map.
My research has been strongly field based and interdisciplinary, with a strong emphasis in igneous petrology and the tectonic evolution of accretionary orogens. It would seamlessly fit with the work conducted in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Acadia University. I believe given my experience as a field geologist and igneous petrologist I could make meaningful contributions to the geological community and to the students of this unique institution.

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