Dr. Peter S. Giles
Research and/or project statements
Highly focused stratigraphic research, underpinned by 1:50,000 scale geological mapping and extensive subsurface work, has contributed substantially to the understanding of the economically important Windsor Group, host to eastern Canada’s major gypsum and salt deposits. This Early Mississippian (Viséan) succession is characterized by periodic marine invasion of the basin, and alternating marine/non-marine deposition. Giles first demonstrated that these cycles were controlled by orbital forcing. He is currently using stable isotopes in Windsor Group anhydrites to profile the Group to better understand the diagenetic history of rocks deposited in these repeated cycles of transgression and regression.
At a broader scale, Giles has worked closely with colleagues within the Geological Survey of Canada to link modern lithostratigraphic work with palynostratigraphy, thereby establishing time control in stratigraphic reconstruction. Results, including regional biostratigraphic zonations, can be applied globally for comparative stratigraphic study. Most recently, he has worked with academic partners to refine and extend the magnetic polarity stratigraphy for the Late Mississipian portion of the Maritimes Basin fill. Results suggest that a global magnetostratigraphic signature for the Late Mississippian is achievable, rivaling Mesozoic polarity signatures.
Understanding the stratigraphic framework of the Maritimes Basin is a fundamental step towards assessment of hydrocarbon resource potential. This assessment is the current focus of Giles’ research, working with a national team of GSC scientists. Data from deep wells on Prince Edward Island, as well as all marine wells drilled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, have been synthesized. Work is proceeding, establishing linkages between marine and onshore stratigraphic successions.
Professional activities / interests
Giles has devoted almost thirty years to the study of sedimentary fill of the Maritimes Basin in eastern Canada, first with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, and for the last fourteen years, with Natural Resources Canada/Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic).