Nicholas Eyles

Nicholas Eyles

Environmental Science

Research Interests: 

I am very interested in the relationship between ancient glacial climates and tectonics and currently working with graduate students such as Shannon Carto (Ph.D completed) in the eastern USA (‘Squantum Tillite’ of the Boston Basin) testing the rock record against the Snowball Earth hypothesis (SEH) which posits that Earth froze entirely on at least three (some say four) occasions 750-590 million years ago. SEH overstates the case for dramatic freezing and downplays sedimentological evidence for regional ‘wet-based’ glaciation driven by tectonics. Our work is based on detailed analysis of sedimentary facies and the broader plate tectonic setting of glaciation and is rooted in long experience working in modern glacial environments. Kirsten Kennedy is working on the diamictite host rocks of the Kamoa Copper deposit in Congo.

I continue to work with local communities on the impact on urban waterfronts by urban sediments and contaminants (mostly metals and road salt) focusing on lagoons along the Lake Ontario waterfront (e.g., Frenchman’s Bay). Several papers with Dr. Mandy Meriano have identified the very large volumes of salt that reach these lagoons and these findings have received widespread media interest.

Over the years I have conducted a wide variety of geophysical cruises on lakes in Canada and with Michael Doughty am currently publishing a series of papers on the extensive record of ongoing faulting and tectonic activity in Lake Timiskaming. Some 16 lakes have been surveyed to date. I have access to a full range of marine geophysical equipment (sub bottom profiler, side scan) and a 26 foot research boat.


  • Doughty, M., Eyles, N. and Eyles, C.H. (2013).Seismic reflection profiling of neotectonic faults in glacial and postglacial sediment in Lake Timiskaming, Timiskaming Graben, Ontario/Quebec, Canada. Sedimentology 60, 683-706
  • Eyles, N. Meriano, M. and P. Chow-Fraser, P. (2013). Impacts of European settlement (1840-present) in a Great Lake watershed and lagoon: Frenchman’s Bay, Lake Ontario, Canada. Environmental Earth Sciences 68, 2211-2228.
  • Eyles, N. and Meulendyk, T. (2012). Ground penetrating radar stratigraphy and depositional model for evolving Late Holocene dunes on the Lake Huron coast, Ontario. Journal of Great Lakes Research 38, 708-719
  • Eyles, N. (2012). Glacially-cut rock drumlins and megagrooves of the Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada cut below the Saginaw-Huron Ice Stream. Quaternary Science Reviews 55, 34-49.
  • Carto, S. and Eyles, N.  (2012). Sedimentology of the Neoproterozoic (c. 580 Ma) Squantum ‘Tillite’, Boston Basin USA: mass flow deposition in a non-glacial deep water arc basin. Sedimentary Geology 269, 1-14.

For more publications see:

UTSC Field Camp: American Southwest