Dr. Alison Leitch

Associate Professor
Department of Earth Sciences
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St John’s, NL A1B 3X5 Canada
709.864.3305
aleitch@mun.ca

With a background in physics, geophysics and magma dynamics, I have broad interests in the field and laboratory. Most recent projects involve investigations of traditional and non-traditional geological targets using a range of geophysical techniques.

 

Dr. Alison Leitch: Mini-bio:

Associate Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University (2005-)
Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University (2000-04)
Teaching Post-doctoral Fellow, Memorial University (1998-00)
Research Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University (1992-98)
Research Fellow, Minnesota Supercomputer Institute, University of Minnesota (1988-91)
Post-doctoral Fellow, Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto (1986-87)
Post-doctoral Fellow, Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Toronto (1985)
Ph.D. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University (1986)
B.Sc. (Honours) Physics, Australian National University (1979)


Teaching

3172 Electric and Electromagnetic Methods in Geophysics
3420 Global Tectonic Processes
4105 Field Course in Applied Geophysics
3170 Seismic and Potential Fields Methods in Geophysics
2150 The Solar System
1000 Earth Systems
6040 Igneous Petrogenesis

Publications

Journal papers
Published papers (*=my student)
1. Leitch, A.M. and Davies, G.F. 2001 "Mantle plumes and flood basalts: Enhanced melting from plume ascent and an eclogite component", J. Geophys. Res., 106, 2047-2060.
2. Leitch, A.M. and Weinberg, R.F. 2002 "Modelling granite migration by mesoscale pervasive flow", Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 200, 131-146.
3. Leitch, A.M. 2004 "Analog experiments on melting and contamination at the roof and walls of magma chambers", J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 129, 173-197.
4. Kerr, A. and Leitch, A.M. 2005 "Self-Destructive Sulfide Segregation Systems and the Formation of High-Grade Magmatic Ore Deposits", Economic Geology, 100, 311-332.
5. Leitch, A.M. and *Boone, C.R. 2007, “A study of the SP geophysical technique in a campus setting”. Atlantic Geology, 43, 91-111.
6. Zavala, K., Leitch, A.M. and Fisher, G. 2011, “Silicic segregations of the Ferrar Dolerite Sills, Antarctica” Journal of Petrology, 52: 1927-1964.
7. Kilfoil, G., *Blagdon, A., Leitch, A., Campbell, H., Irvine, M., Batterson, M., Roberts, G. and B. Baker, B. 2018, “The Application and Testing of Two Geophysical Methods (Direct-Current Resistivity and Ground-Penetrating Radar) as Part of the Coastal Monitoring Program to Assess Terrain Stability”, Current Research (2018) Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources Geological Survey, Report 18-1, pages 31-57.

Papers submitted
Papers in Preparation
1. *Graham, B., Leitch, A.M and Dunning, G., “Magma mushes of the Fogo Island Batholith”, (For Journal of Petrology)
2. *Lynch, N. and Leitch, A., “Geophysical Detection of Reducing Springs in the Tablelands Ophiolite, Newfoundland” (for Earth and Planetary Science Letters).
3. *Wall, A., Leitch, A., Sparkes, G. and Farquharson, C., “Delineating the Alteration Zone at the Big Easy Low-Sulphidation Gold Prospect using Geophysical Methods” (for Economic Geology).
4. *Blagdon, A.G., Leitch, A.M. and Kilfoil, G., “Geophysical Investigation of a Region of Landslide Vulnerability in Western Newfoundland, Canada”, (for Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics).
5. Leitch, A.M., *Thistle, J. and Kilfoil, G., “Old and new gravity reference stations in St John’s Newfoundland”, (for Atlantic Geology).
6. *Dias, K. and Leitch, A.M. “Laboratory Models of Magma Mingling” (for Atlantic Geology).

Presentations (last 6 years)
1. Leitch, A.M. and Evans-Lamswood, D.M., “Dynamic models of the Voisey’s Bay magmatic sulphide deposit, Labrador”, UQAM, Montreal, invited talk, 19 March, 2012.
2. Leitch, A.M., *Woodford, C. and Evans-Lamswood, D.M., “Analogue models of mixing and unmixing of magmatic sulphide ores in the Voisey’s Bay deposit, Labrador”, GAC MAC Annual meeting, St John’s NL, May 27-29, 2012.
3. *O’Grady, P., Leitch, A.M. and Dunning, G., “Magma mingling in the Avalonian Holyrood Granite”, AGS Annual Meeting, Dartmouth NS, Feb 1-2, 2013.
4. *O’Grady, P., Leitch, A.M. and Dunning, G., “Magma mingling in the Avalonian Holyrood Granite”, NL GAC Annual Spring Meeting, St John’s NL, Feb 18-19, 2013.
5. *Nurkusuma, A., Perry, T. and Leitch, A.M., “Geology and Geophysics of a Proterozoic Mafic Sill, Cape St Francis, Newfoundland”, AGS Annual Meeting, Wolfville NS, Feb 7-9, 2014.
6. Leitch, A.M.,*O’Grady, P. and Dunning, G., “Magma mingling in the Avalonian Holyrood Granite”, GAC MAC Annual Meeting, Fredericton, NB, May 21-23, 2014.
7. *Ernst, L., Calon, T., Leitch, A.M., “Revisiting structure and gravity of the Howley Basin”, GAC MAC Annual Meeting, Fredericton, NB, May 21-23, 2014.
8. *Dias, K. and Leitch, A.M., “Laboratory Modelling of Magma Mingling”, AGS Annual Meeting, Sackville, NB, Jan 30-Feb 2, 2015. *(Best undergraduate poster award.)
9. *Chen, J., Leitch, A. and Rashid, H., “Using Ground Penetrating Radar to Investigate Lacustrine Sediments for Paleoclimatic Reconstruction”, Canadian Quaternary Association Conference, St John’s, NL, 16-18 August, 2015.
10. *Thistle, J. and Leitch, A., “Old and new gravity reference stations in St John’s Newfoundland”, AGS Annual Meeting, Truro NS, Feb 5-7, 2016.
11. *Thistle, J. and Leitch, A., “Old and new gravity reference stations in St John’s Newfoundland”, NL GAC Annual Spring Meeting, St John’s NL, Feb 22-23, 2016.
12. *Graham, B., Leitch, A. and Dunning, G., “Mingling of crystal-rich magmas in the Fogo Island Batholith”, NL GAC Annual Spring Meeting, St John’s NL, Feb 22-23, 2016.
13. Ernst, L., Leitch, A. and Calon, T., “Potential Field and Structural Analysis of the Howley Basin, Western Newfoundland”, GAC MAC Annual Meeting, Whitehorse, Jun 1-3, 2016.
14. *Wall, A., Leitch, A., Farquharson, C. and Sparkes, G., “Delineating the alteration zone at the Big Easy prospect using geophysical methods”, GAC MAC Annual Meeting, Whitehorse, Jun 1-3, 2016.
15. *Graham, B., Leitch, A. and Dunning, G., “Mingling of magma mushes”, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, Dec 12-16, 2016.
16. *Lynch, N. and Leitch, A.M., “Electric and magnetic signatures of reducing springs at the Tablelands ophiolite, Newfoundland”, AGS Annual Meeting, Fredericton NB, Feb 10-11, 2017. *(Geophysics award).
17. *Pittman, J. and Leitch, A.M., “Geophysical Characterization of a Bog in Gullbridge, Newfoundland”, AUGC Annual Meeting, St. John’s NL, 27-29 October, 2017. *(Geophysics poster award.)
18. *Graham, B., Dunning, G. and Leitch, A., “Early Devonian Magmatism, NE Dunnage Zone, Newfoundland and the nature of basaltic to granitic additions to large magma chambers”, AGS Annual Meeting, Truro NS, Feb 23, 2018.
19. *Abbott, S. and Leitch, A., “Magnetics and coring study of a newly discovered reducing spring in the Tablelands ophiolite”, AGS Annual Meeting, Truro NS, Feb 2-3, 2018.
20. *Chen, J., Leitch, A. and Burden, E., “Sediment core analysis of a post-glacial lake over a mineral prospect, Eastern Newfoundland”, NL GAC Annual Spring Meeting, St John’s NL, Feb 19-20, 2018.
21. *Blagdon, A.B. and Leitch, A.M., “Geophysical Study of an Abandoned Tailings Dam, Gullbridge, Central Newfoundland”, NL GAC Annual Spring Meeting, St John’s NL, Feb 19-20, 2018. *(Best poster award.)
22. *Chen, J., Leitch, A., Burden, E. and Finch, C. “Lake sediment core analysis over a gold prospect, Eastern Newfoundland”, 9th PDAC-SEG Student Minerals Colloquium, March 3-7, 2018.* (3rd place, MSc student posters.)
23. *Blagdon, A.B. and Leitch, A.M., “Geophysical Investigation of the Gullbridge Tailings Facility, Central Newfoundland”, 9th PDAC-SEG Student Minerals Colloquium, March 3-7, 2018.


Famous Field Flubs

We learn by experience. Here are some lessons learned. Student names withheld to protect the embarrassed (you know who you are).

Student A: When transporting gravimeter by snowmobile, secure it carefully. It doesn’t like being dropped in the snow.
Student B: When taking a job as a field assistant, ensure proper footwear beforehand. Sneakers are not good in bogs.
Professor & Student C: If van seems to be stuck on a sheet of ice, check the parking brake is off before asking for a tow.
Student D: When undertaking winter fieldwork, ensure proper footwear beforehand. Sneakers are no good at -20 C.
Student A: Do not attach a sled to a snowmobile with zip ties. Wooden GPR sled was reduced to matchsticks.
Professor: Check there is data storage space on magnetometer before sending student on day-long hike to collect data.
Students E&F: Do not place the gravimeter on its side in the trunk of a car. It has to be kept upright at all times to avoid months of PTSD.
Students C&G: Don’t forget a proper hat when heading off to the field on a sunny day.
Professor: Attach extension piece for bog-corer properly to avoid sinking sampler in metre of stinking bog, requiring students to dig it up by hand (gagging).
Professor: Do not forget to pick up hard-won bog core samples when leaving a remote site.
Student H: Don’t forget to pack a lunch and water when heading off to the field for a day.

Recent Research Projects

Contact

Earth Sciences

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000