• INRS
  • Eau Terre Environnement
  • Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications
  • INRS – Institut Armand-Frappier
  • Urbanisation Culture Société
Version imprimable

Pierre-Simon Ross

Volcanologie et géologie économique

Lithogéochimie, mesures multiparamétriques en forage (propriétés physiques, minéralogie par spectrométrie infrarouge, géochimie, imagerie des carottes)









Research Interests

 ResearchGate profile


Dr Ross' research interests include mineral deposits associated with volcanic or magmatic activity such as volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits (Cu, Zn, Au, Ag), porphyry systems (Cu, Mo, W, Au), or kimberlites (diamonds), and their geological environment.

For VMS deposits, he employs volcanic reconstruction, chemo-stratigraphy, and studies of hydrothermal alteration through lithogeochemistry and infrared spectrometry.

In physical volcanology, Dr Ross specializes on mafic to ultramafic volcaniclastic rocks, mainly of the submarine or phreatomagmatic types, especially those from maar-diatreme volcanoes. Laboratory to large-scale experiments can help understand volcanic processes when field work is not sufficient.

Dr Ross has developed and is in charge of the Mobile laboratory for the physical, chemical and mineralogical characterization of rocks. This lab contains a multi-sensor core logger which can measure nearly simultaneously, at high spatial resolution, in a non-destructive manner, the density, magnetic susceptibility, geochemistry and mineralogy of exploration drill cores.



Le champ volcanique Hopi Buttes, Arizona, 2010

Eruption of Sakurajima Volcano, Japan (July 23, 2013)                The Hopi Buttes volcanic field in Arizona.





Current research - a summary

Maar-diatreme volcanoes

Diatremes are volcanic pipes filled by volcaniclastic debris. Their surface expressions are called “maars”, which are volcanic craters excavated below the original ground surface. Many kimberlites are diatremes, and kimberlites can contain diamonds. Volcanic processes operating inside diatremes are not well known. Our research program combines field work on well exposed diatremes and experiments. Currently, an MSc student is mapping the Cathedral Cliff diatreme in the Navajo volcanic field, New Mexico, USA.

Geology of the Lalor gold-rich VMS deposit, Snow Lake, Manitoba

Auriferous volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits represent significant exploration targets. Their metallic content that combines large amounts of gold and base metals makes them very attractive exploration targets and profitable mining operations. Many of the key features of auriferous VMS deposits have not been fully documented and understood. The Lalor deposit represents a unique opportunity to further improve our knowledge of the Snow Lake belt geologic and metallogenic evolution, the metallogeny of the Proterozoic Eon, and more specifically the metallogeny of gold in VMS systems, which is a key scientific question. Currently, one PhD student and one MSc student are are documenting the geology, geochemistry, stratigraphy, structure, hydrothermal alteration and mineralization at Lalor.


Geochemistry of volcanic rocks in the Blake River Group, Abitibi Subprovince, Quebec

The goal of this project is to use existing and new geochemistry to improve the stratigraphy of the Blake River Group at a regional scale. This will have implications for VMS exploration.


Improving core logging with the INRS mobile laboratory

Exploration drilling is expensive, and the drill cores are under-utilized. The Mobile laboratory for the physical, chemical and mineralogical characterization of rocks is being used in Matagami (VMS mining camp, Abitibi Greenstone Belt) for a two year multi-sensor core logging project, funded by FRQNT. We aim to improve the laboratory and data interpretation methods. Specifically we are working on developing geochemical and mineralogical vectors towards ore, and multi-variate statistical methods. One MSc tudent and one research professionals are involved.





Volcanology of the Blake River Group, Abitibi Subprovince
This study focused on mafic volcaniclastic rocks in the Blake River Group: their physical volcanology, geochemistry, stratigraphic position, absolute age and origin. Results were recently published as two papers by Ross et al. in CJES (2011) and a number of GSC reports (see above).


Volcanology and metallogeny of the Hébécourt Formation and associated VMS mineralization, Blake River Group, Abitibi Subprovince
This MSc project employed physical volcanology, chemo-stratigraphy, and trace element analysis (LA-ICP-MS) in pyrites from sulfide-bearing stratified intervals to identify volcanic vents and hydrothermal vents ion the Hébécourt property of Cogitore Resources inc. A paper by Rogers et al. has been submited to Econ. Geol.

The porphyry-style Archean Mo-Cu system at Tilly, Baie-James, Quebec
This UQAM-led MSc project, supervised by Michel Jébrak, looked at Sirios Resources Inc.’s Tilly property, where several Mo-Cu ±Au showings occur in an Archean tonalite. Mineralization is found mostly in hydrothermal breccias and stockworks and seems locally associated with porphyritic intrusions.


Multi-sensor core logging in the Matagami mining camp
We used the Mobile laboratory for the physical, chemical and mineralogical characterization of rocks on drill cores from the Matagami mining camp. Highlights of the project are the ability to identify cryptic contacts using the multiparameter data, the ability to “see” dikes in intense alteration (chloritite) zones, and the ability to differentiate between visually similar less altered lithologies based on the portable XRF data.A paper has been published in Ore Geology Reviews and two at GEEA.


Maars-diatreme volcanoes in Argentina and Montana

Quaternary basalitc maars and Tertiary ultramafic diatremes were studied in Argentina and Montana, respectively. A paper has been published in JVGR and one in Bull. Volc.


Volcanic architecture of the Matagami mining camp, Abitibi Subprovince, Quebec
The Matagami mining camp in the north-central portion of the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Quebec contains numerous VMS deposits and has the potential for several more discoveries. Active exploration by the private sector is ongoing. The current PhD project aimed to reconstruct the volcanic architecture of the camp to help mineral exploration.


IOCG systems in the Great Bear magmatic zone
The Geological Survey of Canada’s Great Bear/IOCG project focused on developing an exploration framework for polymetallic iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) deposits in the Great Bear magmatic zone, a north-trending 450 km-long, volcano-plutonic belt between Great Slave and Great Bear lakes in the Northwest Territories.
Two graduate projects on the mineralogy and geochemistry of IOCG alteration were completed at INRS/GSC-Quebec.


Volcanic architecture of the Lemoine Member (Waconichi Formation), Chibougamau area, Abitibi Subprovince, Quebec

We studied the Waconichi Formation on the Lemoine property in the Chibougamau area. The goal of the MSc project was to better understand the volcanology, chemo-stratigraphy and hydrothermal alteration on the property to help target future VMS exploration and learn about submarine felsic volcanism in the Archean.


Multi-sensor core logging in the Chibougamau area

The Mobile laboratory for the physical, chemical and mineralogical characterization of rocks was employed in the Chibougamau area. We studied the Waconichi and other formations north and south of the Lac Dore Complex.







Ph.D. Geology (Volcanology), University of Otago , New-Zeland
M.Sc. Earth Sciences (Economic geology), Université du Québec in Montréal
B.Eng. Geological Engineering, Université du Québec in Chicoutimi


2016, Queensland University of Technology (Australia), visiting scientist

2007-now, INRS-ETE, Research Professor
2006-2007, Geological Survey of Canada, Postdoctoral Researcher
2006, University of Ottawa, Lecturer
2005, University of Würzburg (Germany), Invited Researcher
2000, 2001, Molycorp Inc. (USA), Mining geologist
1998, 1999, UQAT (for Natural Resources Québec): geologist & assistant geologist





Volcanology and mineral exploration (GEO1301)

Description: Physical and chemical properties of magmas; lava flows and lava domes; explosive eruptions: processes and products; volcanic edifices; submarine and subglacial volcanism; hydrothermal activity; modification of volcanic rocks (diagenesis, metamorphism, hydrothermal alteration); applications of volcanology to mineral exploration: nickel sulfide deposits, volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits, kimberlites.

Prof. in charge: P-S Ross


Metallogeny (GLG64877)

Description: Metallogeny is the study of the genetic processes responsible for generation of mineral deposits. Types of deposits covered include Pb-Zn-Cu in sedimentary basins; magmatic Ni-Cu; IOCG; volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits; gold; porphyry deposits.
Prof. in charge: Dr Georges Beaudoin, Université Laval


Consultez notre webzine



Pierre-Simon Ross, les carottes de forage et la volcanologie québécoise ...