Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic Resources D. Graham Pearson is creating the first detailed pictures of the rock formations hidden deep under the Earth’s crust in Canada’s Arctic region, and revealing new data on the landmasses where diamonds are formed. Pearson and his research team are collecting rare rock samples of deep origin from volcanic diatremes—circular volcanic vents created by underground explosions—and studying the geochemical composition of these rocks using state-of-the-art tools.
Pearson’s geological snapshots will revolutionize our understanding of the age and evolution of the deep resources beneath current and potential diamond mines. He is also collaborating with the Canadian government to forge a geo-mapping program that will help boost arctic exploration and expenditure, identifying new prospective areas for mining diamonds and other mineral deposits.
In addition, Pearson’s will use his world-leading micro-sampling technique for diamond analysis to determine the chemical characterization of Canadian diamonds. This technique will serve to protect their ethical and geographical purity, and guarantee their premium on the international market. Methods developed directly from this research are also being applied to forensic tracing problems to help bolster Canada’s security.