Fiona Darbyshire

F. 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] (darbyshire[dot]fiona_ann[at]uqam[dot]ca)

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

The Canadian Shield and its margins preserve over 3 billion years of Earth’s geological history, making it an ideal natural laboratory to study the processes of formation and evolution of the continental crust and mantle lithosphere, and their interactions with the underlying mantle. In my research, I study the present-day seismic structure of the crust and upper mantle, using global earthquakes recorded at networks of broadband seismograph stations. I use the resulting models to investigate fundamental questions such as the assembly of the North American continent, and the history of Precambrian and later plate-tectonic processes.

My research group employs a wide variety of techniques to exploit the seismic waveforms, including P-wave receiver functions, ambient noise and surface-wave tomography, relative and absolute travel-time tomography, and shear wave splitting. These techniques allow us to model the seismic velocity structure of the crust and upper mantle, as well as to measure seismic anisotropy, which highlights structural alignments and/or convective mantle flow. In addition, we have recently collaborated with colleagues in Australia to carry out joint inversions of seismic, geodynamic and geochemical data to explore the thermochemical structure of the Canadian Shield lithosphere, which has implications for mineral resource prospectivity.

I am responsible for a network of 17 long-term broadband seismograph stations installed across Québec and Labrador, and have also participated in a number of temporary installations related to the North American EarthScope project. These installations have illuminated the structures beneath important tectonic domains such as the billion-year-old Mid-Continent Rift, and the systematic variations in lithospheric properties from the Archean to the Phanerozoic. I am also a collaborator on a CFI-funded project to develop a new Canadian pool of ocean-bottom seismometers which will allow further extension of the structural studies offshore.

Accès libre    MacGregor, J. A., Colgan, W. T., Paxman, G. J., Tinto, K. J., Csathó, B., Darbyshire, F. A. et al., 2024. Geologic provinces beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet constrained by geophysical data synthesis. Geophysical Research Letters 51(8), e2023GL107357.

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. 

Ejbabra, Oumaïma : Maîtrise en génie minéral
Département des génies civil, géologique et des mines, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Codirection : Éric Rosa; Vincent Cloutier
Sadeghi , Zahra : 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
Codirection : Nasser Kazemi, Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmorspère, UQAM
Sujet de recherche : Amélioration d’algorithmes pour l’imagerie sismique haute-résolution de la sous-surface