Samuel Boone

Dr Samuel Boone

Internal Grant-Funded Researcher (A)

School of Physical Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Samuel C Boone is a geoscience research fellow in tectonics and thermochronology. His work aims to better our understanding of Earth's dynamic evolution by constraining the thermal and tectonic history of the crust in relation to the growth and breakup of continents. To do this, he integrates field observations, low-temperature thermochronology, structural geology, geochronology, and geochemistry.

Dr Boone commenced his role at the University of Adelaide as a research fellow in 2022. In collaboration with Associate Professor Stijn Glorie, he aims to investigate the interplay between tectonics, climate, and resources through a megacontinental-scale synthesis of the upper crustal thermal evolution of Gondwana in response to continental breakup over the last 200 million years. He is also a member of the Tectonics and Earth Systems Group (TES) in Adelaide, where he is working with Prof Alan Collins and Dr Morgan Blades to investigate the tectonics of the Neoproterozoic East African Orogen.

Sam splits his time between Adelaide and the University of Melbourne where he is a leader of the Melbourne Thermochronology Research Group, specialising in the development and application of fission track and (U-Th)/He analyses of the common accessory mineral apatite and other uranium-enriched minerals, including zircon, titanite, and monazite. They conduct research across all aspects of the development of laboratory techniques, as well as their application to understanding the low-temperature history of continental crust in response to continental extension, sedimentary basin development, orogenesis and continental amalgamation, landscape evolution, and the long-term stability of cratons.

Sam is also a leading member of the AuScope Geochemistry Network, an Australian consortium of Earth Science Institutes cooperating to develop national geochemistry infrastructure. Their flagship project is the development of AusGeochem, a FAIR data platform enabling researchers to solve geoscience challenges through geospatial interrogation of geochemistry Big Data on a global scale.

To find out more about what Sam does, check out...

The Melbourne Thermochronology Research Group: https://www.melbournethermochronology.com/

The AuScope Geochemistry Network: https://www.auscope.org.au/agn

A preview of the AusGeochem data platform: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1uUSV2rShM&t=2s

A recent virtual presentation Sam gave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJSxGukB9JQ&t=1s

A study of his investigating the onset of the East African Rift System: https://doi.org/10.1130/G46468.1

The Rocky Framework of the Rift, an introduction to his work on the Neoproterozoic East African Orogen: https://doi.org/10.1130/G46468.1

And here is a recent article he wrote in Eos about the uncertain future of geoscience in Australia: https://eos.org/opinions/australias-unfolding-geoscience-malady

Why do continents break apart?  

The breakup of continents along rift systems plays a fundamental role in the theory of plate tectonics, leading to the creation of new oceans and continental margins instrumental in driving the evolution of the Earth’s climate and biosphere. Active rift systems also host important economic resources, such as low-carbon geothermal energy systems. Yet despite the important role of continental breakup in how our planet has evolved and operates, the mechanisms controlling the initiation and localisation of rifting remain enigmatic. Sam's work aims to quantify the natural processes controlling the inception and early evolution of continental rifts by integrating geochemical and field observations of active rift systems, namely in East Africa.  

Continental margins record the signature of ancient periods of rifting, lithospheric plate rupture, ocean basin formation, the growth of topography and mass sediment transportation. The southeast margin of Madagascar (pictured) records the breakup of central Gondwana, when Africa, Madagascar, Antarctica, India and Australia began gradually dispersing approximately 180 million years ago, forming the Indian Ocean in their wake. Image credit: S.C. Boone.
Continental margins record the signature of ancient periods of rifting, lithospheric plate rupture, ocean basin formation, the growth of topography and mass sediment transportation. The southeast margin of Madagascar (pictured) records the breakup of central Gondwana, when Africa, Madagascar, Antarctica, India and Australia began gradually dispersing approximately 180 million years ago, forming the Indian Ocean in their wake. Image credit: S.C. Boone. 

 

The growth of supercontinents  

The distribution of continents, mountain ranges, and oceans associated with the growth of supercontinents is thought to be instrumental in driving the most dynamic periods of evolution for the interior of Earth, the climate, and life. Nevertheless, details of the development of supercontinents often remain poorly constrained. Using a range of geochemistry techniques in combination with structural geology and field observation, Sam aims to restore the amalgamation history and configuration of ancient supercontinents to better understand the most dynamic periods of Earth’s evolution.

Supercontinent assembly occurs via episodic periods of tectonic plate collision, resulting in the growth of the largest mountain belts on Earth. But long after these peaks have eroded away, the signature of ancient collisional events can still be detected by the structural, magmatic and chemical fingerprints they leave behind. Mt Everest and the Nepalese Himalaya (pictured from the summit of Gokyo Ri) record the collision of India with Asia over the last 55 million years. Image credit: S.C. Boone.
Supercontinent assembly occurs via episodic periods of tectonic plate collision, resulting in the growth of the largest mountain belts on Earth. But long after these peaks have eroded away, the signature of ancient collisional events can still be detected by the structural, magmatic and chemical fingerprints they leave behind. Mt Everest and the Nepalese Himalaya (pictured from the summit of Gokyo Ri) record the collision of India with Asia over the last 55 million years. Image credit: S.C. Boone. 

Developing tools to constrain the thermal evolution of Earth’s crust  

Dr Boone specialises in the development and application of temperature-sensitive radiometric dating techniques that can be used to constrain the thermal evolution of the crust in relation to mountain building events, continental breakup and landscape evolution. To develop these so-called low-temperature thermochronology methods, he integrates digital microscopy, chemistry, spectrometry, software engineering, and machine learning in laboratory and fieldwork. Below is a preview of the open-access AusGeochem geochemistry data platform which he has worked to develop as part of the AuScope Geochemistry Network.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2022 - ongoing Geoscience Research Fellow in Tectonics University of Adelaide
    2019 - ongoing Geoscience Research Fellow in Thermochronology University of Melbourne
    2019 - 2022 Data Scientist AuScope Geochemistry Network
    2018 - 2019 Postdoctoral Researcher Institute of Geosciences
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Dutch; Flemish Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2014 - 2018 University of Melbourne Australia PhD in Geology
    2012 - 2013 University of Melbourne Australia MSc in Geology
    2004 - 2009 University of Massachusetts United States BSc in Physics
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2021 - 2021 CS50 Computer Science Harvard University United States
    2019 - 2019 NERC Numerical Earth Science Modelling Durham University England
    2017 - 2017 Rift Basin Reservoirs: From Outcrop to Model University Centre in Svalbard Norway
  • Research Interests

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2022 Boone, S. C., Dalton, H., Prent, A., Kohlmann, F., Theile, M., Gréau, Y., . . . Rawling, T. (2022). AusGeochem: An Open Platform for Geochemical Data Preservation, Dissemination and Synthesis. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 46(2), 245-259.
    DOI
    2022 McMillan, M. F., Boone, S. C., Kohn, B. P., Gleadow, A. J., & Chindandali, P. R. (2022). Development of the Nyika Plateau, Malawi: A Long Lived Paleo-Surface or a Contemporary Feature of the East African Rift?. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 23(8).
    DOI
    2021 Sun, Y., Chen, Z., Boone, S. C., Zhong, F., & Tao, W. (2021). Exhumation history and preservation of the Changjiang uranium ore field, South China, revealed by (U-Th)/He and fission track thermochronology. Ore Geology Reviews, 133, 12 pages.
    DOI Scopus2
    2021 Boone, S. C., Balestrieri, M. L., & Kohn, B. (2021). Thermo-tectonic imaging of the Gulf of Aden-Red Sea rift systems and Afro-Arabian hinterland. Earth-Science Reviews, 222, 19 pages.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS1
    2021 Sun, Y., Kohn, B. P., Boone, S. C., Wang, D., & Wang, K. (2021). Burial and exhumation history of the lujing uranium ore field, zhuguangshan complex, south china: Evidence from low-temperature thermochronology. Minerals, 11(2), 1-24.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
    2021 Boone, S. C., Balestrieri, M. L., & Kohn, B. (2021). Tectono-Thermal Evolution of the Red Sea Rift. Frontiers in Earth Science, 9, 9 pages.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS2
    2021 Boone, S., Quigley, M., Betts, P., Miller, M., & Rawling, T. (2021). Australia’s Unfolding Geoscience Malady. Eos (United States), 102(11), 28-30.
    DOI
    2019 Boone, S. C., Kohn, B. P., Gleadow, A. J. W., Morley, C. K., Seiler, C., & Foster, D. A. (2019). Birth of the East African Rift System: Nucleation of magmatism and strain in the Turkana Depression. Geology, 47(9), 886-890.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS15
    2019 Boone, S. C., Balestrieri, M. L., Kohn, B. P., Corti, G., Gleadow, A. J. W., & Seiler, C. (2019). Tectonothermal Evolution of the Broadly Rifted Zone, Ethiopian Rift. Tectonics, 38(3), 1070-1100.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS7
    2018 Boone, S. C., Kohn, B. P., Gleadow, A. J. W., Morley, C. K., Seiler, C., Foster, D. A., & Chung, L. (2018). Tectono-thermal evolution of a long-lived segment of the East African Rift System: Thermochronological insights from the North Lokichar Basin, Turkana, Kenya. Tectonophysics, 744, 23-46.
    DOI Scopus16 WoS15
    2018 Boone, S. C., Seiler, C., Kohn, B. P., Gleadow, A. J. W., Foster, D. A., & Chung, L. (2018). Influence of Rift Superposition on Lithospheric Response to East African Rift System Extension: Lapur Range, Turkana, Kenya. Tectonics, 37(1), 182-207.
    DOI Scopus14 WoS13
    2018 Hall, J., Glorie, S., Reid, A., Boone, S., Collins, A., & Gleadow, A. (2018). An apatite U-Pb thermal history map for the northern Gawler Craton, South Australia. Geoscience Frontiers, 9(5), 1293-1308.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS15
    2016 Boone, S., Seiler, C., Reid, A., Kohn, B., & Gleadow, A. (2016). An Upper Cretaceous paleo-aquifer system in the Eromanga Basin of the central Gawler Craton, South Australia: evidence from apatite fission track thermochronology. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 63(3), 315-331.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS15
    Boone, S., Kohlmann, F., Balestrieri, M. -L., McMillan, M., Kohn, B., Noble, W., . . . Gleadow, A. (n.d.). Thermo-tectonic imaging of the Afro-Arabian Rift System.
    DOI
    Prent, A., McInnes, B., Gleadow, A., O'Reilly, S., Boone, S., Kohn, B., . . . Rawling, T. (n.d.). The AuScope Geochemistry Laboratory Network.
    DOI
    Prent, A., Dalton, H., Boone, S., Florin, G., Greau, Y., McInnes, B., . . . Noble, W. (n.d.). The AuScope Geochemistry Network and the AusGeochem geochemistry data platform.
    DOI
    Fraser, R., Boone, S., Prent, A., Klump, J., & Aben, G. (n.d.). SciDataMover: Moving Geochemistry Data from the Lab through to Publication.
    DOI
    Boone, S., Kohlmann, F., Theile, M., Noble, W., Kohn, B., Glorie, S., . . . Zhou, R. (n.d.). AusGeochem and Big Data Analytics in Low-Temperature Thermochronology.
    DOI
  • Theses

    Year Citation
    2018 Boone, S. (2018). A low-temperature thermochronology investigation of the Turkana Depression: Implications for the development of the East African Rift System. (PhD Thesis, The University of Melbourne).
  • Phillips, Hergt, Gleadow, Cerling, Leakey, Boone, Dalton. A high resolution chronological framework for volcanic tuffs in the Turkana Basin to constrain species evolution and paleoclimate/paleoenvironmental change through time. Turkana Basin Institute Research Continuity Award. USD $126,364. 2022-2023. 
  • Boone. Why Do Continents Rupture? University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant. AUD $36,000. 2021-2022.
  • Boone. AI-powered automated digital microscopy techniques for the Earth Sciences. Melbourne Data Analytics Platform Collaboration Scheme. AUD $50,000 in-kind. 2021-2022.
  • BoonePaleogeography and tectonics of Gondwana amalgamation. German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Short-Term Research Grant. EUR $8,550. 2018-2019.
  • 2022 - The University of Adelaide, Department of Earth Sciences 3rd-year undergraduate Arkaroola Field Trip
  • 2022 to present - Victorian Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences Geochronology and Thermochronology Honours and MSc course
  • 2019 - The University of Adelaide, Department of Earth Sciences 2nd & 3rd-year undergraduate Oman International Study Tour
  • 2018 - Victorian Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences' Basin Evolution and Stratigraphy Honours and MSc course
  • 2016, 2017 - The University of Melbourne, School of Earth Sciences 2nd-year undergraduate subject Structural & Metamorphic Geology
  • 2016 - The University of Melbourne, School of Earth Sciences 3rd-year undergraduate subject Tectonics & Geodynamics
  • 2013 - The University of Melbourne, School of Earth Sciences 1st-year undergraduate subject Understanding Planet Earth

 

  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 - ongoing Co-Supervisor AI-powered automated digital microscopy techniques for the Earth Sciences University of Melbourne Master of Computer Science Master Chenghao Jiang
    2022 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Compositional Control of Fission-Track Annealing in Apatites from The Otway Basin University of Melbourne Master Matthew Winefield
    2018 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Tectonothermal evolution of the Malawi Rift The University of Melbourne Doctorate Malcolm McMillan
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2021 - ongoing Member Environmental, Health and Safety Committee University of Melbourne, School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Australia
    2021 - 2022 Member Seminar Series Committee University of Melbourne, School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Australia
    2015 - 2015 Member AAPG International Conference & Exhibition (ECE) 2015 Student sub-committee American Association of Petroleum Geologists Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2018 - ongoing Member European Geosciences Union Germany
    2016 - ongoing Member Royal Society of Victoria Australia
    2016 - ongoing Member Geological Society of Australia Australia
    2015 - ongoing Member American Geophysical Union United States
  • Community Engagement

    Date Title Engagement Type Institution Country
    2021 - 2021 Science Meets Parliament Delegate 2021 Public Community Engagement Science Meets Parliament Australia
  • Presentation

    Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
    2022 - ongoing Thermochronological Insights into Continental Breakup Process. From AI to Big Data: Multi-scale thermal evolution constraints on the rifting history of East Africa Institute of Geological Sciences Polish Academy of Sciences Poland
    2020 - ongoing Why do continents break apart? Insights into early-stage rift processes from the upper crustal thermal evolution of East Africa Department of Earth Sciences The University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 - ongoing The application of low-temperature thermochronology in intracontinental rift settings School of Geographical & Earth Sciences University of Glasgow United Kingdom

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