David Gardner, MSc student, University of Victoria


I am currently a Master of Science candidate working with Dr. Stephen Johnston at the School of Earth and Ocean Science, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia and with Dr. Suzanne Paradis at the Geological Survey of Canada (Pacific), Pacific Geoscience Center, Sidney, British Columbia. Here I work as a part of the Targeted Geoscience Initiative — 3 (TGI-3) southern British Columbia on tectonics, stratigraphy, sedimentology, structural geology, geochronology, and basin analysis of the Upper Purcell Supergroup.

I received my Bachelor of Science (honours) in 2006 from the Department of Earth Sciences at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. There I completed an honours thesis with Dr. Lawrence Plug that focused on catastrophic thaw lake out-burst floods, fluvial geomorphology and sedimentology, and arctic landscape evolution in the northern Yukon and Alaska. While at Dalhousie I also worked in the Cosmogenic Nuclide Extraction Facility (CNEF) Laboratory for Dr. John Gosse, where I learned pretreatment (physical and chemical) and isotope extraction techniques for insitu-terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating of Be and Al isotopes.


My research is focused on understanding the tectonic and depositional history of the Mesoproterozoic Belt-Purcell Basin, a 15-20 km thick sedimentary sequence that straddles Canada-United States boarder in western North America. The Purcell Supergroup in Canada and the contiguous Belt Supergroup in the United States were part of a rift-fill sequence deposited between 1.44 and 1.35 Ga. I am specifically interested in understanding the stratigraphy, sedimentology, and provenance of the Upper Purcell Supergroup (top 4-5 km of strata). Through a combination of detailed mapping and detrital zircon geochronology I aim to:

  1. Provide better age constraints that can be used in testing cross-basin stratigraphic correlations;
  2. Test tectonic models of basin formation and evolution by limiting the nature of, and changes in the sediment source terrane, and
  3. To assess the potential of this Mesoproterozoic sequence for syngenetic mineralization, including SEDEX Pb-Zn and Cu deposits. Though currently working on Mesoproterozoic strata.

I am interested in all aspects of Cordilleran tectonic evolution. I have always been interested in orogens and orogenic processes, and feel that the study of sedimentary basins is of great importance to understanding not just the Cordillera, but for understanding orogens globally