Dr. Dawn Kellett

Image Kellett, Dawn
Research Scientist

Tectonics, geochronology, thermochronology

Current research and/or projects

Kellett uses a wide range of geochronometers and thermochronometers (methods of determining absolute ages of rocks and Earth processes) and complementary structural and metamorphic geological methods to reconstruct the evolution of Canada's ancient mountain belts. Kellett particularly focuses on strategies for dating deformation and exhumation histories in ancient mountain belts. Research lines include:

Relationships between pluton emplacement, mineralization and deformation, Appalachian orogen

Methods for dating faults, fault reactivation and low-temperature deformation of rocks

Thermochronology as a tool to unravel post-accretionary tectonics, northern Canadian Cordillera

Professional activities / interests

Geochronology and thermochronology of geological processes

Collisional tectonics

Structural and metamorphic petrology

Education and awards

Post-doctoral scholar, University of California, Santa Barbara,  2010-2011

Ph.D. Geology, Dalhousie University, 2010

M.Sc. Geology, Queen's University, 2006

B.Sc. (Comb. Hons.) Oceanography and Geology, University of British Columbia, 2003

International experience and/or work

Kellett has extensive experience working in the Himalayan orogen, and applies knowledge gained from that type example of a continent-continent collision to her research in Canadian collisional orogens.

Current international collaborations include:

-In situ Ar/Ar dating of shear zones, Open University, UK

-K-Ar dating of brittle fault gouge, Kyoto University, Japan

Key publications

  1. Ma, S., Kellett, D.A., Godin, L., and Jercinovic, M., 2019. Localization of the brittle Bathurst fault on pre-existing fabrics: A case for structural inheritance at the eastern edge of the Slave craton, western Nunavut, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, doi:10.1139/cjes-2019-0100.
  2. Kellett, D.A., Weller, O., Zagorevski, A., and Regis, D., 2018. A petrochronological approach for the detrital record: Tracking mm-sized eclogite clasts in the northern Canadian Cordillera. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 494, 23-31.
  3. Kellett, D.A., van Staal., C., Wilson, R.A., and Rogers, N., 2017. Salinic deformation constrained by 40Ar/39Ar dating of multiple cleavage domains: Bathurst Supergroup, New Brunswick Appalachians. American Journal of Science, doi: 10.2475/03.2017.02.
  4. Skipton, D., Schneider, D.A., Kellett, D.A., and Joyce, N., 2017. Deciphering the Paleoproterozoic cooling history of the northeastern Trans-Hudson Orogen, Baffin Island (Canada), using 40Ar/39Ar step-heating and UV laserprobe thermochronology. Lithos, 284-285, 69-90.
  5. Kellett, D.A., Warren, C., Larson, K.P., Zwingmann, H., van Staal, C.R., and Rogers, N., 2016. Influence of deformation and fluids on Ar retention in white mica: dating the Dover Fault, Newfoundland Appalachians. Lithos, doi:10.1016/j.lithos.2016.03.003.

Research facility

1 Challenger Drive
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4A2


Canadian Tectonics Group (Chair)

Geological Association of Canada

Mineralogical Association of Canada

American Geophysical Union