Don Francis

Emeritus Professor

Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences
3450 University St.
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 0E8

Email: donald.francis [at]

Tel : 514.398.6767







Exploring the nature of the Earth's upper mantle and the processes within it which give rise to basaltic volcanism on both the Earth and the other terrestrial planets. My approach focuses on geochemical studies of successions of picritic to alkaline basalts and suites of xenoliths in alkaline lavas and kimberlies. These rock suites represent, respectively, primary liquids derived from the Earth's mantle and actural fragments of the upper mantle. My methodology combines field work, chemical analysis, and computer modelling techniques. In the long term, by undertaking studies of basaltic magmatism ranging in age form the recent to the Precambrian, I hope to contribute to our understanding of the temporal evolution of basaltic volcanism and the upper mantle over the history of the Earth.

Recent Publications

Milidragovic, D. and Francis, D., (2016). Ca. 2.7 Ga ferropicritic magmatism: A record of Fe-rich heterogeneities during Neoarchean global mantle melting. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 185, 44-63.

Thomassot, E., O’Neil, J., Francis, D., Cartigny, P., and Wing, B.A., (2015). Atmospheric record in the Hadean Eon from multiple sulfur isotope measurements in Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt (Nunavik, Quebec). Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 112(3), 707-712.

Kitayama, Y. and Francis, D., (2014). Iron-rich alkaline magmatism in the Archean Wawa greenstone belts (Ontario, Canada). Precambrian Research, 252, 53-70.

Milidragovic, D. and Francis, D., (2014). Ferropicrite-driven reworking of the Ungava craton and the genesis of Neoarchean pyroxene granitoids. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 386, 138-148, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.10.051.

Milidragovic, D., Francis, D., Weis, D., and Constantin, M., (2014). Neoarchean (ca. 2.7 Ga) plutons of the Ungava craton, Québec, Canada: parental magma compositions and implications for Fe-rich mantle source regions. Journal of Petrology, 55, 2481-2512, doi:10.1093/petrology/egu 064.

Partin, C.A., Bekker, A., Corrigan, D.A., Modeland, S., Francis, D., and Davis, D.W., (2014). Sedimentological and geochemical basin analysis of the Paleoproterozoic Penrhyn and Piling Groups of Arctic Canada. Precambrian Research, 251, 80-101, doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2014.06.010.

Complete list