Welcome to the home page of,,,

John Waldron

I work in the department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta. My research is mainly on deformed sedimentary rocks of continental margins and orogenic belts (mountain belts) including the Appalachian-Caledonide system of eastern Canada and the British Isles, and the Canadian Cordillera.


The above link should download a presentation shortly after the event based on public domain data and interpretations of the Japan earthquake, with copyrighted material removed. Note that this is a very large file (~200Mb) and may take a while to download.

Contact information

How I got here..

Trilobite from Arisaig, Nova ScotiaI was born in Denmark, but grew up entirely in the UK, mainly in the Essex suburbs of London. From about 1968 my parents indulged my enthusiasm for collecting fossils by arranging their summer vacations in classic areas of British geology and paleontology. Attending Cambridge University from 1974, I was subverted from paleontology into studies of orogenic belts by the glamour of the then new theory of plate tectonics. From 1977 to 1981 I worked as a postgraduate student at Edinburgh University, on the geology of the Antalya Complex, southwestern Turkey. In January 1981 I came to Memorial University of Newfoundland where I held a post-doctoral research fellowship (though embarassingly I was only truly 'post' doctoral for 13 days in this position.)

From 1981 until 2000 I worked at the Geology Department of Saint Mary's University, Halifax Nova Scotia, where I taught sedimentary and structural geology, field methods, and several different flavours of introductory geology. I ventured into web-based teaching with a course entitled "The Earth:Atlantic Canada Perspective". In the summer of 2000 I moved to a position in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. From 2004-2008, I took on the job of associate chair with responsibility for undergraduate studies.

My research deals with deformed sedimentary rocks from both sedimentary and structural geological perspectives (I have generally resisted being classified as either a sedimentary or a structural geologist, though Ihave sometimes admitted to being a "deformed sedimentologist"). My recent research interests are in the Caledonian-Appalachian geology of Atlantic Canada and the British Isles, in the Archean Slave province of the Canadian Shield, and in sedimentary basins within the Canadian Cordillera.

I have a strong interest in the teaching of Earth Science, and especially Field Geology. To that end, I developed an outdoor teaching facility known as the Geoscience Garden at the University of Alberta with the assistance of the University of Alberta teaching and Learning Fund, and a team of collaborators. To learn more about the Geoscience Garden visit the Geoscience Garden web page

Other stuff

Outside geology my interests include tinkering with computers (although I've done my best to make that part of my job; see above). I'm most at home on a Mac (where wrote this) but am quite prepared to speak to Windows or Unix if it's what does the job.

I also enjoy music of all kinds (OK, most kinds), and play guitar on occasion, including in a small celtic-flavoured ensembles 'Knotwork' (because we only do it for fun) and "Rain at Times Heavy" with other members of my family. Please visit my favourite composers and other musical sites...

Recent Publications

(or click for Full publication list )

Journal papers and such...
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Schofield, D.I., and Murphy, J.B., 2017, in press, Diachronous Palaeozoic accretion of peri-Gondwanan terranes at the Laurentian margin, in Wilson, R.W., R.W., Houseman, G., McCaffrey, K., Doré, A.G., and Royden, W. eds., Tectonic evolution: 50 years of the Wilson Cycle concept, Geological Society London Special Publications.
  • Waldron, J. W. F., A. J. Locock, and A. Pujadas-Botey. 2016. Building an Outdoor Classroom for Field Geology: The Geoscience Garden. Journal of Geoscience Education 64, 215-230.
  • Reimink, J., Davies, J.H.F.L., Waldron, J.W.F., Rojas, X.D., 2016. Dealing with discordance: a novel approach for analyzing U-Pb detrital zircon datasets. Journal of the Geological Society 173, 577-585.
  • Snyder, M.E., Waldron, J.W.F., 2016. Unusual soft-sediment deformation structures in the Maritimes Basin, Canada: possible seismic origin. Sedimentary Geology 344, 145-159.
  • Dafoe, L.T., Shaw, J., Jauer, C., Giles, P.S., Waldron, J.W.F., Potter, D.P., 2016. New insights into the Bedrock and Quaternary Geology of St. George’s Bay from a vertical integration of marine datasets, offshore western Newfoundland. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology 64, 1-23.
  • Craggs, S., Keighley, D., Waldron, J.W.F., and Park, A.F., 2015, Salt tectonics in an intracontinental transform setting: Cumberland and Sackville basins, southern New Brunswick, Canada: Basin Research 29, 266-283
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Barr, S.M., Park, A.F., and White, C.E., 2015, Late Paleozoic strike-slip reconfiguration of the northern Appalachians: Tectonics, 34 1661-1684. DOI: 10.1002/2015TC003882
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Jamieson , R.A., Pothier, H.D., White, C.E., 2015. Sedimentary and tectonic setting of a mass-transport slope deposit in the Halifax Group, Halifax Peninsula, Nova Scotia. Atlantic Geology 51, 84-104.
  • Pothier, H.D., Waldron, J.W.F., DuFrane, S.A., White, C.E., Jamieson , R.A., 2015. Stratigraphy, Provenance and Tectonic Setting of the Lumsden Dam and Bluestone Quarry Formations (Lower Ordovician), Halifax Group, Nova Scotia. Atlantic Geology 51, 51-83.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Schofield, D.I., Murphy, J.B., and Thomas, C.W., 2014, How was the Iapetus Ocean infected with subduction?: Geology, 42, 1095-1098. Dave Elliott award for best paper, Canadian Tectonics Group.
  • Pothier, H.D., Waldron, J.W.F., Schofield, D.I., and DuFrane, S.A., 2014, Peri-Gondwanan terrane interactions recorded in the Cambrian-Ordovician detrital zircon geochronology of North Wales: Gondwana Research, in press. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2014.08.009
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Schofield, D.I., DuFrane, S.A., Floyd, J.D., Crowley, Q.G., Simonetti, A., Dokken, R.J., and Pothier, H.D., 2014, Ganderia-Laurentia collision in the Caledonides of Great Britain and Ireland: Journal of the Geological Society, 171, 555-569.
  • Murphy, J.B., Waldron, J.W.F., Schofield, D.I., Barry, T.L., and Band, A.R., 2014, Depleted isotopic compositions evident in Iapetus and Rheic ocean basalts: implications for crustal generation and preservation: International Journal of Earth Sciences, 103, 1219-1232.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Rygel, M.C., Gibling, M.R., and Calder, J.H., 2013, Evaporite tectonics and the late Paleozoic stratigraphic development of the Cumberland basin, Appalachians of Atlantic Canada: Geological Society of America Bulletin, 125, 945-960.
  • Waldron, J. W. F., McNicoll, V. J. & van Staal, C. R. 2012. Laurentia-derived detritus in the Badger Group of central Newfoundland: Deposition during closing of the Iapetus Ocean. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 49, 207-221.
  • Murphy, J. B., Waldron, J. W. F., Kontak, D., Pe-Piper, G. & Piper, D. J. W. 2011. Minas Fault Zone: Late Paleozoic history of an intra-continental orogenic transform fault in the Canadian Appalachians. Journal of Structural Geology, 33, 312-328.
  • Gagnon, J.-F., and Waldron, J.W.F., 2011, Sedimentation styles and depositional processes in a Middle to Late Jurassic slope environment, Bowser Basin, Northwestern British Columbia, Canada. Marine and Petroleum Geology 28, 698-715.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., and Gagnon, J.-F., 2011, Recognizing soft-sediment structures in deformed rocks of orogens. Journal of Structural Geology 33, 271-279.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Schofield, D.I., White, C.E., and Barr, S.M., 2011. Cambrian successions of the Meguma Terrane, Nova Scotia, and Harlech Dome, North Wales: dispersed fragments of a peri-Gondwanan basin?: Journal of the Geological Society 168, 83-98.
  • Gingras, M., Waldron, J.W.F., White, C.E., and Barr, S.M.,2011, The evolutionary significance of a lowermost(?) Cambrian trace fossil assemblage from the Meguma terrane, Nova Scotia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 48, p. 71-85
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Roselli, C.G., Utting, J., and Johnston, S.K., 2010, Kennetcook thrust system: Late Paleozoic transpression near the southern margin of the Maritimes Basin, Nova Scotia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 47, p. 137-159.
  • Gagnon, J.-F., Evenchick, C.A., Waldron, J.W.F., Cordey, F., and Poulton, T.P., 2009, Early to Late Jurassic subsidence history of the Hazelton Trough -- Bowser Basin in the area of Todagin Mountain, north-central British Columbia. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, 57, p. 430-448.
  • Hibbard, J., and Waldron, J.W.F. 2009. Truncation and translation of Appalachian Promontories: Mid-Paleozoic strike-slip tectonics and basin initiation. Geology 37, 487-490.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., White, C.E., Barr, S.M., Simonetti, A., and Heaman, L.M. 2009. Provenance of the Meguma terrane, Nova Scotia: rifted margin of Early Paleozoic Gondwana. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 46, p. 1-8.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Floyd, J.D., Simonetti, A., and Heaman, L.M., 2008, Ancient Laurentian detrital zircon in the closing Iapetus Ocean, Southern Uplands terrane, Scotland: Geology, 36, p. 527-530.
  • Keighley, D., Calder, J., Park, A.F., Pickerill, R.K., Waldron, J.W.F., Falcon-Lang, H.J., and Benton, M. 2008. Discussion on ecology of earliest reptiles inferred from basal Pennsylvanian trackways. Journal of the Geological Society, 164, 1113-1118.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., and Wallace, K.D., 2007, Objective fitting of ellipses in the centre-to-centre (Fry) method of strain analysis: Journal of Structural Geology, 29, 1430-1444.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Roselli, C., and Johnston, S.K., 2007, Transpressional structures on a Late Paleozoic intracontinental transform fault, Canadian Appalachians, in Cunningham, W.D., and Mann, P., eds., Tectonics of Strike-Slip Restraining & Releasing Bends in Continental & Oceanic Settings: Geological Society of London Special Publication, 290, 367-385.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., and Bradley, J.C., 2007, Data Integration and subsurface structure modelling of coal seams from a strike-slip basin, Stellarton, Nova Scotia, in Harris, J.R., ed., GIS Applications in the Earth Sciences: Geological Association of Canada Special Paper 4, 577-589.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., and Rygel, M.C., 2005, Role of evaporite withdrawal in the preservation of a unique coal-bearing succession: Pennsylvanian Joggins Formation, Nova Scotia. Geology, 33, 337-340.
  • Ferguson, M.E., Waldron, J.W.F., and Bleeker, W., 2005, The Archean deep-marine environment: Turbidite architecture of the Burwash Formation, Slave Province, Northwest Territories. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 42, 935-954..
  • Waldron, J. W. F., 2005, Extensional fault arrays in strike-slip and transtension. Journal of Structural Geology 27, 23-34.
  • Waldron, J.W.F. 2004. Anatomy and evolution of a pull-apart basin, Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 116, 109-127
  • Stockmal, G.S., Slingsby, A., and Waldron, J.W.F. 2004. Basement-involved inversion at the Appalachian structural front, Western Newfoundland: Interpretation of seismic reflection data and implications for petroleum prospectivity. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, 52, 215-233.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., Henry, A. D., and Bradley, J. C., 2003, Development of a folded thrust stack: Humber Arm allochthon, Bay of Islands, Newfoundland Appalachians: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 40, 237-253.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., DeWolfe, J., Courtney, R. C., and Fox, D., 2002, Origin of the Odd-twins anomaly: magnetic effect of a unique stratigraphic marker in the Appalachian foreland basin, Gulf of St. Lawrence: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 39, 1675-1687.
  • Palmer, S. E., Waldron, J. W. F., and Skilliter, D. M., 2002, Post-Taconian shortening, inversion and strike slip in the Stephenville area, western Newfoundland Appalachians: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 39, 1393-1410.
  • Gibling, M. R., Langenberg, W., Kalkreuth, W. D., Waldron, J. W. F., Courtney, R., Paul, J., and Grist, A. M. 2002. Deformation of Upper Carboniferous coal measures in the Sydney Basin: Evidence for late Alleghanian tectonism in Atlantic Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 39, 79-93.
  • Waldron, J. W. F., and Van Staal, C. R. 2001. Taconian orogeny and the accretion of the Dashwoods block: A peri-Laurentian microcontinent in the Iapetus Ocean. Geology 29, 811-814.

Geological Survey reports and open files, etc.

  • Gagnon, J.-F. & Waldron, J. W. F. 2009. Sedimentation patterns and reservoir distribution in a siliciclastic, tectonically active slope environment, Bowser Basin, Northwestern British Columbia (NTS 104B/01). In: Geoscience BC Summary of Activities 2008. Geoscience BC Report 2009-1, 193–200.
  • Gagnon, J.-F. & Waldron, J. W. F. 2008. Ashman Ridge section revisited: New insights for the evolution of the Bowser Basin. In: Geoscience BC Summary of Activities 2007, 121-128
  • Gagnon, J.-F., Loogman, W., Waldron, J. W. F., Cordey, F. & Evenchick, C. A. 2007. Stratigraphic Record of Initiation of Sedimentation in the Bowser Basin (NTS 104A, H), Northwestern British Columbia. In: Report on Fieldwork 2006. British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Paper, and Geoscience BC Report 2007-1, 275-284.
  • Loogman, W., Gagnon, J.-F., Waldron, J. W. F. & Evenchick, C. A. 2007. Structural Overprinting in the Northwestern Skeena Fold Belt (NTS 104B, H), Northwestern British Columbia. In: Geological Fieldwork 2006. British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Paper, and Geoscience BC, Report 2007-1, 325-332.
  • Waldron, J. W. F., Gagnon, J.-F., Loogman, W. & Evenchick, C. A. 2006.  Initiation and Deformation of the Jurassic-Cretaceous Bowser Basin: Implications for Hydrocarbon Exploration in North-Central BC  In: Geological Fieldwork 2005. British Columbia Geological Survey Paper 2006-1, 349-360.
  • Waldron, J.W.F., White, J.C., MacInnes, E., and Roselli, C.G. 2005. Field Trip B7: Transpression and transtension along a continental transform fault: Minas Fault Zone, Nova Scotia. Geological Association of Canada, Mineralogical Association of Canada, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and Canadian Society of Soil Sciences Annual Meeting Field Guides. Atlantic Geoscience Society, Halifax, N.S.
  • Waldron, J. W. F., Bradley, J. C., Henry, A. D., 2004. Preliminary geological map of part of the Humber Arm Allochthon west of Corner Brook, NF (NTS 12A/13, 12B/16 & 12G1) Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 1905.
  • Palmer, S. E., Burden, E., and Waldron, J. W. F. 2001. Stratigraphy of the Curling Group (Cambrian), Humber Arm Allochthon, Bay of Islands. In Current Research (2001). Newfoundland Department of Mines and Energy, Geological Survey Report 2001-1, 105-112.
  • Waldron, J. W. F., and Palmer, S. E. 2000. Lithostratigraphy and structure of the Humber Arm Allochthon in the type area, Bay of Islands, Newfoundland. Current Research, Newfoundland Department of Mines and Energy, Geological Survey Report 2000-1, 279-290.
Some Educational contributions
  • Waldron, J. W. F., and Butler, J. C. 1999. Another node on the internet: Experiences teaching an introductory course on the web: part 1. Computers and Geosciences, 25: 1097-1099.
  • Waldron, J. W. F., and Butler, J. C. 1999. Another node on the internet: Experiences teaching an introductory course on the web: part 2. Computers and Geosciences, 25: 1187-1190.
  • Waldron, J.W.F. (1998) Black Cove and Black Point in Wallace P. (editor) Discovering Rocks, Minerals and Fossils in Atlantic Canada. Atlantic Geoscience Society Special Publication 14, 35-37.
  • Waldron, J.W.F. (1998) Rainy Cove, Pembroke in Wallace P. (editor) Discovering Rocks, Minerals and Fossils in Atlantic Canada. Atlantic Geoscience Society Special Publication 14, 81-83.

Full publication list