Dr. Wouter Bleeker

Research Scientist

Current research and/or projects

Wouter is engaged in research projects across the Canadian Shield, the Canadian Arctic, and the Ottawa-Bonnechere Graben, predominantly under the Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4) and Geomapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) programs. He is vice-chair of the International Subcommission on the Precambrian Time Scale, and is a member of the editorial board of Precambrian Research.

Professional activities / interests

Wouter Bleeker obtained degrees in geology and ore petrology (cum laude) from the Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, working on various research projects in Scandinavia. In collaboration with industry, his M.Sc. dissertation involved unravelling the regional structure, stratigraphy, and mineralogy of a silver-rich metalliferous horizon in the Bergslagen District, central Sweden. His work was instrumental in the discovery and subsequent production of the Lovisa massive sulphide deposit. He then taught at the University of Botswana before coming to Canada.

In Canada, he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of New Brunswick (1990) with a dissertation on the structure and stratigraphy of the Thompson Nickel Belt (northern Manitoba) and its giant nickel sulphide deposits. Here he defined the stratigraphy of the Proterozoic succession that overlies the rifted western margin of the Superior craton and showed that the various deposits of the Thompson area are hosted by a refolded nappe structure. Unfolding of this structure demonstrated that the ore deposits occur where ultramafic intrusions were emplaced along sulphide-rich black shales and iron formations.

Since then has worked on the geology of the Abitibi greenstone belt for more than two decades, first as a research scientist with Falconbridge Ltd. and later with the Geological Survey of Canada. As part of this research he solved the structural, stratigraphic, and geochronological complexity of the Kidd Creek giant massive sulphide deposit near Timmins, contributing to significant down-plunge extension of the known ore body and addition of more than two decades of economic reserves. He is currently working on the ultimate causes and detailed localization of large gold deposits in the Abitibi greenstone belt. With the GSC, and a through a number of international collaborations, he has worked on numerous Precambrian terrains and cratons around the world, notably the Slave craton in northern Canada and the Yilgarn craton in Western Australia. Additional interests include the record of large igneous provinces in Canada, and the geology of modern and ancient impact craters.

Education and awards

Wouter Bleeker is a graduate from the Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in structural geology and economic geology from the University of New Brunswick in 1990.

Recipient of the "William Harvey Gross Medal" from the Geological Association of Canada.

GAC's "H.S. Robinson Distinguished Lecturer" (2001).