John D. Greenough  

Contact Info:

Dr. John D. Greenough

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

University of British Columbia, Okanagan

3333 University Way, Kelowna, BC, Canada, V1V 1V7

 

Location: SCI 216, Science Building.

 

Telephone: (250) 807 9520

FAX: (250) 807 8005

E-mail: john.greenough@ubc.ca

 

RESEARCH

BIOGRAPHY

STUDENT PROJECTS

CV

PUBLICATIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY



 

 

Research Areas and Interests

 

            I specialize in using the trace element composition of mafic rocks to study the early history of the Earth and the processes that cause differentiation in recent basalt lava flows. My geochemical toolbox has also opened the door to projects in geoarchaeology (fingerprinting and sourcing artifacts) and wine trace element geochemistry. At the heart of many recent projects is an initial analysis of the data using an exploratory statistical technique called multidimensional scaling. This technique is completely new to geochemistry but provides a powerful tool for finding patterns in giant (many elements & samples) data sets. The list of in-progress projects below, my publications, and the list of possible student research projects give insight into my fields of expertise.

 

 

In-Progress Research Projects

 

The World-wide Signature of the Mantle Components. Now that my paper on the composition of the mantle components using French Polynesia basalts is in press, I am moving ahead with a supercharged and expanded version of this project using a larger (more islands) but degraded (more holes) data matrix. The objective is to use trace element ratios to finger-print the mantle components and finally figure out how they formed.

Core-mantle Interaction? Preliminary results indicate that regression analysis applied to multiple samples of basalt from individual oceanic islands can yield accurate relative estimates of mantle siderophile element concentrations. The work to-date shows there are major differences between oceanic islands. The question is, are these due to core-mantle interaction with material being brought up in mantle plumes or do the siderophile element variations reflect recycled lithospheric rocks? Integration with results on mantle component compositions will provide answers.

Diamond Indicator Minerals. My graduate student at the U. Windsor (with Brian Fryer, and supported by Charles Fipke) is using the trace element composition of diamond indicator minerals to refine methods of exploring for diamonds. Her project also provides insight into the composition of Archean subcontinental lithosphere (SLM). These results are of interest in the study of oceanic mantle component compositions because some components may represent SLM.

Composition of the Lunar Regolith. Dr. David McKay (Houston Space Centre; Life on Mars?) and I have been discussing a project that would determine trace element variability in Lunar regolith as a means of investigating compositional variation of the Lunar surface. The project will begin with an analysis of existing electron microprobe data on Apollo-mission samples and then use LA-ICP-MS to determine trace element compositions.

Lunar and Martian Mantle Composition. The statistical techniques (multidimensional scaling) that identified four mantle component compositions in French Polynesia basalts can be adapted to study melting mechanisms, chemical variability, and evolution of the Lunar and Martian mantle. I have an honors student finishing his incredible study of the published data base for Lunar KREEP basalts. This work will integrate well with my research on chemical variation in the Earths mantle and the Lunar Regolith project because if the major-impactor hypothesis is correct, studies of the lunar mantle may lead to an understanding of the earliest Earth.

Dating Mantle Below Oahu. I have argued that the EM1 component in the ocean basins represents Archean subcontinental lithosphere in the convecting mantle (see Shonkin Sag paper). This is supported by 1) an EM1 trace element signature for the Shonkin Sag based on French Polynesia-derived discrimination diagrams (French Polynesia, in press), 2) an Archean Pb-Pb model date for EM1 islands (my OIV II paper), and 3) a report of nanodiamonds in xeoliths from an EM-1-like lava flow on Oahu, Hawaii. We (with Krogh, Davis and Kamo at U. of T.) now have appropriate Oahu xenolith samples. Will they return an Archean date?

Dating a Ni-Cu-Co-Pt-bearing Layered Mafic Intrusion in Yemen. We (with Tom Krogh and Sandra Kamo, U. of T) have obtained the first high precision Pb-Pb date for rocks in the country of Yemen. It is also possible these rocks are from the largest layered mafic intrusion on Earth! I am looking for a student to complete this project.

Volatile Influenced Differentiation in Lava Flows. We analyzed minerals from a Taiwan lava flow for their trace element content to test the hypothesis from my 1999 paper that volatiles affect differentiation in mafic magmas. The work on layering in flows is important because it gives insight into processes that probably operate in mafic intrusions and has yielded insight into the formation of some Pt-Group ore deposits.

Analysis of Trace Elements in Gold. The geoarchaeology project below requires new analytical techniques to determine the trace element composition of gold. I have been working with Dr. Fryer (U. Windsor) on this project. There are other potential uses of these analytical techniques as shown by my honors student, Mr. McInnes, who used whole-sample gold analyses to determine the source of some placer gold.

Fingerprinting and Tracing Gold. The project will determine the trace element content of 1000 BC gold artifacts from the Near and Middle East and try to determine where gold was mined and how it was traded. The gold was removed from priceless artifacts at museums around the world. Fryer is running the samples using a new analytical technique. This project is with Mallory-Greenough and Fryer.

Trace Element Composition of Maple Syrup. Projects on the trace element composition of wine, that date back to the mid-nineties, have provided insight into how plants take up elements and how climate, soils and human inputs affect what we eat and drink. The project will see whether, like vineyards, individual maple sugar stands can be fingerprinted. We are also interested in the effect of reverse osmosis versus evaporation-only on the trace element and oxygen isotopic composition of syrup. We have samples for the last 6 years and they have been run in Dr. Fryers lab.

 

 

RESEARCH

BIOGRAPHY

STUDENT PROJECTS

CV

PUBLICATIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

Biography

    Along with my research projects a number of personal and professional interests occupy my time:

    One of the most successful things I have been involved with is the layman's book Okanagan Geology, a project initiated and led by Dr. Murray Road. It has been one of the best selling books in the Okanagan Valley and has been adopted as a resource reference by several of school districts in British Columbia. Along with authoring or coauthoring several chapters in the book I was co-chair of the committee that raised funding for the project. Proceeds from the book were used to establish the Kelowna Geology Committee Scholarship for Okanagan students pursuing a university education in the Earth Sciences

With my research partner Catherine Greenough.

    Because photographic skills are important in the Natural Sciences and because photography is one of my favorite hobbies, the annual Science Photography Contest was established in the early 1990's. Run with the help of the Earth and Environmental Sciences clubs rules change from year to year but usually involve categories such as Flora, Fauna, Landscapes and Photo-microscopy/photo-telescopy with voting during a get-together/party. For further information about the upcoming contest contact yours truly.

    Considering my professional enthusiasm for petrology and mineralogy and that I teach Mineralogy at UBC O, it is not surprising that one of my interests is Gemology. I am particularly enthralled with colored varieties of diamond, corundum (ruby and sapphire), beryl (aquamarine and emerald), tourmaline (indicolite and rubellite) and topaz as well as the upper mantle minerals olivine (peridot) and diopside. Stones in my collection are usually shown to the Mineralogy and Introductory Earth and Environmental Sciences students.

    Each year I deliver several talks to service clubs and usually visit two or more elementary, middle- or high-schools to talk about the Earth sciences. Hobbies include playing the guitar (Larrive, Hohner, Gibson S1, Fender Strat), hiking and fishing, and cooking/eating east-coast shell fish! I also like sports cars and own a black 1988 Fiero GT in excellent condition.

 

 

RESEARCH

BIOGRAPHY

STUDENT PROJECTS

CV

PUBLICATIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

 

 

 

 

Possible Research Projects/Student Research

 

1. Composition of Mantle Components in the Ocean Basins (GEOROC database studies).

2. Composition of the Archean Subcontinental Lithosphere (Isotopes; China and/or Alberta).

3. Model Ages for the Mantle Components (MORB and GEOROC database studies).

4. Siderophile Element Composition of the Mantle (Core-Mantle Interaction)?

5. Origin of Layering in Thick Basalt Flows (Ireland, Idaho, Oahu, British Columbia, Iguau Falls, Victoria Falls)

6. Age Significance of a Layered Mafic Intrusion in Yemen.

7. A Mineral Fingerprint search for the Pt-deposit in a Yemen Mafic Intrusion.

8. Melting Processes, and Thermal and Chemical Evolution of Lunar and Martian Mantle Reservoirs (several possible projects).

9. Fingerprinting and tracing Dacite Artefacts in the B.C. Interior (Geoarchaeology).

10. Effect of Evapo-transpiration on the Trace Element Composition of Okanagan Wines.

11. Geoarchaeology and Economic Geology Projects (there are several possible projects) using Trace Elements that Fingerprint Gold.

12. The Trace Element composition of Artefacts and Agrofood products (dozens of possible projects using statistical techniques to explore a new geochemical data base).

 

 

 

RESEARCH

BIOGRAPHY

STUDENT PROJECTS

CV

PUBLICATIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY