Earth & Planetary Materials

Understanding the properties of Earth and Solar System materials, and their implications for planetary evolution, is a long-standing goal of the geosciences. At U of T, we combine cutting-edge analytical techniques with field studies, high temperature experiments, and geochemical models to illuminate the relationships between micro- and macro-scale processes. Our faculty forefronts in trying to solve important questions to advance our understanding the origin of our planet:

a photo of the Himalayas, an erupting volcano, a solar system, and a microscopic section of a meteorite showing the breadth of earth and planetary materials

  • What is the structure of silicate magmas and glasses?
  • What are the carbon fluxes associated with mountain building?
  • How do large igneous provinces evolve through time and what is their role in Earth's evolution?
  • What are the timescales of magma transport beneath volcanoes?
  • How are economically important trace elements held within geological materials?
  • What are the underlying thermodynamic and kinetic controls on metamorphic processes?
  • What are the stages and conditions of planetary formation?
  • What controls element and isotopic fractionation between minerals, melts, and fluids?


Faculty Areas of Interest
Melissa Anderson economic geology, metallogeny, marine science
Neil Bennett experimental petrology, element and isotope fractionation, planetary differentiation
Xu Chu metamorphism and magmatism, experimental petrology, geochemistry
Don Davis geochronology
Dan Gregory hydrothermal ore systems
Mike Hamilton geochronology
Grant Henderson amorphous materials, high T and P geochemistry
Corliss Sio isotope geochemistry, experimental petrology
Kim Tait meteoritics, mineralogy, crystallography, microstructural characterization, atom probe tomography