Fiona Darbyshire


Sismologie, risques
Structure de la croûte et ressources minérale

Université du Québec à Montréal
Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère

darbyshire.fiona_ann [at]

Mots- clés: seismology, tectonophysics, subcontinental lithosphere, broadband seismographs, teleseismic data, surface waves, anisotropy, Canadian Shield

200 km depth slice through the P-wave relative arrival-time tomography model of Villemaire et al (2012), showing upper-mantle structure of eastern Canada and the northeast US. GF: Grenville Front, AF: Appalachian Front. White triangles are seismograph stations, brown diamonds are kimberlites and red circles show other magmatic centres.

Of particular interest: a high-velocity body in the north that may be linked to possible fossil Archean subduction remnants, a patchy low-velocity corridor in the south, attributed to modification of the North American lithosphere by the passage of the Great Meteor hotspot.

 My primary interest is the structure of the crust and upper mantle beneath continental cratons and their margins. I use waveform data from teleseismic earthquakes, recorded at regional broadband seismograph arrays, to investigate variations in wavespeed in the subcontinental lithosphere in order to understand the history of formation, current dynamics, and interactions with mantle processes.

Over the past 6 years, I have installed 15 new broadband seismographs across central and southern Québec, Nunavik and Labrador, which transmit data in real time to the national data archives at the Geological Survey of Canada. In addition, I am actively involved with aspects of the EarthScope programme; the Transportable Array deployment in southeastern Canada plus two FlexArray projects, SPREE (Superior Province Rifting EarthScope Experiment) and QM-III (Québec-Maine Across Three Sutures) which target specific regions of particular tectonic interest. I have also been working on upper-mantle structure beneath Hudson Bay over several years, through collaboration with the HuBLE (Hudson Bay Lithospheric Experiment) project.

The techniques employed in my research use several parts of the teleseismic waveforms recorded at the seismograph stations: P-wave receiver functions for crustal structure, P-wave arrival times for mantle tomography, SKS phases for splitting analysis of anisotropy, and surface-wave tomography for upper mantle structure and stratification of seismic anisotropy.

Darbyshire, F.A., Bastow, I.D., Petrescu, L., Gilligan, A., Thompson, D.A., 2017A tale of two orogens: Crustal processes in the Proterozoic Trans-Hudson and Grenville Orogens, eastern CanadaTectonics 36 (8), 1633-1659.

Levin, V., Servali, A., Van Tongeren, J., Menke, W., Darbyshire, F., 2017Crust-mantle boundary in eastern North America, from the (oldest) craton to the (youngest) riftSpecial Paper of the Geological Society of America 526, 107-131.

Liddell, M.V., Bastow, I., Darbyshire, F., Gilligan, A. and Pugh, S., 2017The formation of Laurentia: Evidence from shear wave splittingEarth and Planetary Science Letters 479, 170-178.

Petrescu, L., Darbyshire, F., Bastow, I., Totten, E., Gilligan, A., 2017Seismic anisotropy of Precambrian lithosphere: Insights from Rayleigh wave tomography of the eastern Superior CratonJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 122 (5), 3754-3775.


Boyce, A., Bastow, I.D., Darbyshire, F.A., Ellwood, A.G., Gilligan, A., Levin, V., Menke, W., 2016Subduction beneath Laurentia modified the eastern North American cratonic edge: Evidence from P wave and S wave tomographyJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 121 (7), 5013-5030.

Gilligan, A., Bastow, I.D., Darbyshire, F.A., 2016Seismological structure of the 1.8 Ga Trans-Hudson Orogen of North AmericaGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17, 2421-2433.

Gilligan, A., Bastow, I.D., Watson, E., Darbyshire, F.A., Levin, V., Menke, W., Lane, V., Hawthorn, D., Boyce, A., Liddell, M.V., Petrescu, L., 2016Lithospheric deformation in the Canadian appalachians: Evidence from shear wave splittingGeophysical Journal International 206 (2), 1273-1280.

Menke, W., Skryzalin, P., Levin, V., Harper, T., Darbyshire, F., Dong, T., 2016The Northern Appalachian Anomaly: A modern asthenospheric upwellingGeophysical Research Letters 43 (19), 10,173-10,179. 

Petrescu, L., Bastow, I.D., Darbyshire, F.A., Gilligan, A., Bodin, T., Menke, W., Levin, V., 2016Three billion years of crustal evolution in eastern Canada: Constraints from receiver functionsJournal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth 121 (2), 788-811.

Zhang, H., van der Lee, S., Wolin, E., Bollmann, T.A., Revenaugh, J., Wiens, D.A., Frederiksen, A.W., Darbyshire, F.A., Aleqabi, G.I., Wysession, M.E., Stein, S., Jurdy, D.M., 2016Distinct crustal structure of the North American Midcontinent Rift from P wave receiver functionsJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 121 (11), 8136-8153.


Bastow, I.D., Eaton, D.W., Kendall, J.-M., Helffrich, G., Snyder, D.B., Thompson, D.A., Wookey, J., Darbyshire, F.A., Pawlak, A.E., 2015The Hudson Bay Lithospheric Experiment (HuBLE): Insights into Precambrian plate tectonics and the development of mantle keelsGeological Society Special Publication 389 (1), 41-67.

Darbyshire, F. A., Bastow, I. D., Forte, A. M., Hobbs, T. E., Calvel, A., Gonzalez‐Monteza, A., & Schow, 2015Variability and origin of seismic anisotropy across eastern Canada: evidence from shear‐wave splitting measurementsJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.

Porritt, R.W., Miller, M.S., Darbyshire, F.A., 2015Lithospheric architecture beneath Hudson BayGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 16 (7), 2262-2275.

Wolin, E., van der Lee, S., Bollmann, T.A., Wiens, D.A., Revenaugh, J., Darbyshire, F.A., Frederiksen, A.W., Stein, S., Wysession, M.E., 2015Seasonal and diurnal variations in long-period noise at SPREE stations: The influence of soil characteristics on shallow stations’ performanceBulletin of the Seismological Society of America 105 (5), 2433-2452.  


Darbyshire, F.A., Eaton, D.W., Bastow, I.D. 2013, Seismic imaging of the lithosphere beneath Hudson Bay: Episodic growth of the Laurentian mantle keel, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 373, pp. 179-193.

Frederiksen, A.W., Bollmann, T., Darbyshire, F., Van Der Lee, S. 2013, Modification of continental lithosphere by tectonic processes: A tomographic image of central North America, Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 118, no. 3, pp. 1051-1066.


Villemaire, M., Darbyshire, F.A., Bastow, I.D. 2012. P-wave tomography of eastern North America: Evidence for mantle evolution from Archean to Phanerozoic, and modification during subsequent hot spot tectonism, Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, 117 (12).

Villemaire, M., Darbyshire, F.A., Bastow, I.D., 2012. Evolution of the mantle from Archean to Phanerozoic and its modification during subsequent hotspot tectonism : seismic evidence from eastern North America. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, doi:10.1029/2012JB009639

Pawlak, A., Eaton, D.W., Darbyshire, F., Lebedev, S., Bastow, I.D. 2012. Crustal anisotropy beneath Hudson Bay from ambient noise tomography: Evidence for post-orogenic lower-crustal flow? Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth, 117.


Bastow, I.D., Thompson, D., Wookey, J., Kendall, J.-M., Helffrich, G., Snyder, D., Eaton, D. & Darbyshire, F.A.,2011. Precambrian plate tectonics: Seismic evidence from Hudson Bay, Canada, Geology, 39, 91-94.

Stein, S., van der Lee, S., Jurdy, D., Stein, C., Wiens, D., Wysession, M., Revenaugh, J., Frederiksen, A., Darbyshire, F., Bollman, T., Lodewyk, J., Wollin, E., Merino, M. & Tekverk, K., 2011. Learning from failure: the SPREE Mid-Continent Rift Experiment, GSA Today, 21(9), 5-7.


Darbyshire, F.A., Eaton, D.W., 2010.  The lithospheric root beneath Hudson Bay, Canada from Rayleigh-wave dispersion: No clear seismological distinction between Archean and Proterozoic mantle, Lithos, 120(1-2), 144-159.

Eaton, D.W., Darbyshire, F., 2010. Lithospheric architecture and tectonic evolution of the Hudson Bay region, Tectonophysics, 480(1-4), 1-22.


Darbyshire, F. A.,  Lebedev, S., 2009. Rayleigh wave phase-velocity heterogeneity and multi-layered azimuthal anisotropy of the Superior Craton, Ontario, Geophysical Journal International, 176 (1), 215-234. GEOTOP publication n° 2008-0028.

Eaton, D.W., Darbyshire, F., Evans, R., Grutter, H., Jones, A., Yuan, X., 2009. The elusive lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath cratons, Lithos special issue, 109 (1-2), 1-22.


Darbyshire, F.A., Eaton, D.W., Frederiksen, A.W., Ertolahti, L., 2007. New insights into the lithosphere beneath the Superior Province from Rayleigh wave dispersion and receiver function analysis, Geophys. J. Int., 169(3), 1043-1068, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03259.x.

Frederiksen, A.W., Miong, S.-K., Darbyshire, F., Eaton, D., Rondenay, S., Sol, S., 2007. Variations in Lithospheric Thickness Across the Superior Province, Ontario, Canada: Evidence from Tomography and Shear-Wave Splitting, J. Geophys. Res., 112, doi:10.1029/2006JB004861.


Darbyshire, F.A., Asudeh, I., 2006. Generic instrument responses for the POLARIS and FedNor seismograph network in Canada, Geol. Surv. CanadaOpen File 5185, 23pp.


Darbyshire, F.A., 2005. Upper mantle structure of Arctic Canada from Rayleigh wave dispersion,Tectonophysics, 405, 1-23.


Darbyshire, F.A., Larsen, T.B., Mosegaard, K., Dahl-Jensen, T., Gudmundsson, Ó., Bach, T., Gregersen, S., Pedersen, H.A., Hanka, W., 2004. A first detailed look at the Greenland lithosphere and upper mantle, using Rayleigh wave tomography, Geophys. J. Int., 158, 267-286.


Darbyshire, F.A., 2003. Crustal structure across the Canadian High Arctic region from teleseismic receiver function analysis, Geophys. J. Int., 152, 372-391. 

Snyder, D., Asudeh, I., Darbyshire, F., Drysdale, J., 2002. Field-based feasibility study of teleseismic surveys at high northern latitudes, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Geol. Surv. Canada, Current Research C03, 10 pp.


Weir, N.R.W., White, R.S., Brandsdóttir, B., Einarsson, P., Shimamura, H., Shiobara, H., RISE fieldwork team,2001. Crustal structure of the northern Reykjanes Ridge and Reykjanes Peninsula, southwest Iceland, J. Geophys. Res.,106, 6347-6368. 


Darbyshire, F.A., White, R.S., Priestley, K.F., 2000. Structure of the crust and uppermost mantle of Iceland from a combined seismic and gravity study, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.,181, 409-428.

Darbyshire, F.A., Priestley, K.F., White, R.S., Stefánsson, R., Jakobsdóttir, S., Gudmundsson, G.,2000. Crustal structure of central and northern Iceland from analysis of teleseismic receiver functions, Geophys. J. Int., 143, 163-184. 

Alalouf, Lise : Doctorat en sciences de la Terre et des planètes
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill
Codirection : Yajing Liu
Sujet de recherche : Subduction zone slow slip and megathrust earthquake interaction (Costa Rica and Cascadia subduction zones)
Bagherpur Mojaver, Omid : Doctorat en sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère
Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère, Université du Québec à Montréal
Sujet de recherche : Lithospheric structure of the eastern North American Maritimes from surface wave analysis
Dave, Riddhi : Stage postdoctoral
Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère, Université du Québec à Montréal
Sujet de recherche : Evolution, modification and destruction of cratonic lithosphere: Evidence from surface wave tomography.
Mathieu, Mélanie : Maîtrise en sciences de la Terre
Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère, Université du Québec à Montréal
Sujet de recherche : Shear wave splitting and seismic anisotropy of Greenland.