Dr. John M. Hanchar


Professor and University Research Professor

Professional Affiliations: American Geophysical Union, Geochemical Society, Geological Society of America, Geological Society of Washington, Materials Research Society, Mineralogical Association of Canada, Mineralogical Society of America, Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL), and Sigma Xi

Contact Information

Office: ER 5020
Phone: 709-864-6785
E-mail:  jhanchar@mun.ca

Research Interests

My research interests include the following current projects in geochemistry and materials science:

1. Use of trace element geochemistry of accessory minerals (e.g., zircon, monazite, titanite, and apatite), rock forming minerals, and melt and fluid inclusions in zircon, quartz, feldspar and apatite, using EPMA, SIMS, and LA-ICPMS to understand crustal processes. Then combining the trace element geochemistry with whole rock Hf, Nd, Sr, and Pb, isotopes, and in situ Hf isotopes in zircon, Nd isotopes in monazite, apatite, and titanite, and Pb isotopes in melt inclusions using MC-ICPMS and LA-MC-ICPMS, respectively, as tracers of crustal and mantle processes. These tools are currently being applied to the following research projects:

  • The origin, tectonic controls, and fluid-rock history of hydrothermal low-Ti iron oxide-apatite-(IOA) (also called magnetite-apatite) and iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) mineral deposits, and the related metasomatic alteration of their host rocks from the Adirondack Mountains, New York State (e.g., Lyon Mountain, Mineville), the Norrbotten region (e.g., Kiirunavaara, Gruvberget, and Malmberget) in northern Sweden, and in the Atacama Desert region of northern Chile, e.g., IOA deposits including El Laco and Incahuasi and IOCG deposits in the Punta del Cobre District, and the Marcona region in southern Peru;
  • Geochronology, geochemical evolution, and utility as stratigraphic correlation tools, of volcanic ash beds from the middle Triassic Dolomites region of northern Italy (ancient example), and the Bandelier Tuff in New Mexico, and the Bishop Tuff in California (modern examples).
  • The petrogenesis of metaluminous to peraluminous Cretaceous granites and lower crustal xenoliths from the Mojave Desert in southeastern California.
  • The crust and mantle evolution of the Adamello intrusive complex, northern Italy. This project involves whole rock major and trace elements and Hf isotopes and in situ U/Pb and Hf in zircon.
  • The geochemistry of the Popes Hill rare earth element deposit in Labrador. This study involves characterizing the minerals present and the distribution of rare earth elements, and other chemical elements of interest, and the geochemical evolution of the deposit.

2. Synthesis and characterization (using EPMA, PIXE, SIMS, LA-ICPMS, LA-MC-ICPMS, Raman, and powder XRD) of high-purity undoped and doped silicate, phosphate, and oxide minerals, and glasses, for structural properties, trace element incorporation, isotope standards, thermodynamic studies, diffusion measurements, spectroscopic studies and storage materials for radioactive waste from dismantled nuclear weapons and spent nuclear fuel;

Experimental and natural sample studies of trace element partitioning between accessory minerals and melts and fluids and other minerals. This research project is primarily focused on the distribution of rare earth elements between fluids/melts and garnet, clinopyroxene, zircon, monazite, and apatite igneous rocks and high grade metamorphic rocks;

3. Effects and recovery of, and 238Pu, 241Am, and 237Np, and naturally occurring (e.g., 235U, 238U and 232Th), alpha-induced self-radiation damage of crystalline and non-crystalline solids with an emphasis on the mineral zircon;

4. Applications of cathodoluminescence and Raman spectroscopy and imaging, and back-scattered electron imaging, and EPMA X-ray mapping, and MLA (Mineral Liberation Analyzer) to problems in mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, and materials science.