Charles Lapointe

MSc Candidate, Geology

Thesis title: Geological characterization of the Aurora hydrothermal vent field, Gakkel Ridge

Supervisor: John Jamieson

Room Number: ER-6013
Email: and

BSc (Earth & Planetary Sciences), McGill University ‘22

Research Project: I am currently working on hydrothermal rock samples from the Aurora Vent Field, collected in 2021 during the HACON21 cruise on board the RV Kronprins Haakon. The vents are forming at depth of 4 km on a submarine volcano within the axial valley of Gakkel Ridge, the mid-ocean ridge spanning the Arctic Ocean. I am performing geochemical and petrological analyses on the samples and mapping the area using bathymetric data and video footage in an effort to develop a holistic understanding of the vent field, the first to be explored in the Arctic Ocean or below perennial sea ice. Questions include the style and rate of sulfide mineralization occurring at Aurora as well as the nature of the substrate, with comparisons to other sites of seafloor hydrothermal venting worldwide. This work will serve as a stepping stone for future exploration in the Arctic.

Personal: I am an extremely curious person passionate about exploration, both on Earth and elsewhere within the solar system. Multi-disciplinary research in diverse, exotic environments like hydrothermal vent systems is fascinating to me and offers countless opportunities for collaboration and discovery. I moved from Montreal in 2022 to join the Jamieson Marine Geology Laboratory for these reasons. My MSc project has already provided me with rare and unique experiences, for which I am grateful.

I am quite involved within the departmental community (MUN Geoscience Graduate Student Society (MUGGSS); MUN Society of Economic Geologists (MUN-SEG); Graduate Matters Committee). I believe we can continue growing and improving as a department, and provide more enriching opportunities for all. Although this kind of work consumes my free time, I find it rewarding and gratifying.

Research Funding: My research is supported by an NSERC graduate scholarship (CGS-M), the NSERC iMAGE-CREATE program, a MUN School of Graduate Studies fellowship, and my supervisor’s NSERC Discovery Grant and NSERC Canada Research Chair funding. I also received the Dr. Alfred K. Snelgrove Graduate Scholarship in Earth Sciences and the Dean’s Excellence Award at MUN.

Other Interests: Lutherie, wildlife photography, hiking, cinema