John Greenough


Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences
Office: SCI 216
Phone: 250.807.9520

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Mantle composition and evolution; diamond indicator minerals; lunar mantle composition; volatiles in lava flows; geochemical fingerprinting of gold; archaeological artefacts; and agrifood products; the concentrations of elements in lava flows to determine the composition of the interior of the Earth.

Courses & Teaching

Igneous petrology; geochemistry; biogeochemistry; mineralogy; evolution of the Earth and mantle.


Along with my research projects, a number of personal and professional interests occupy my time:

One of the most successful things I have been involved with is the layman’s book Okanagan Geology, a project initiated and led by Dr. Murray Road. It has been one of the best selling books in the Okanagan Valley and has been adopted as a resource reference by several of school districts in British Columbia. Along with authoring or coauthoring several chapters in the book I was co-chair of the committee that raised funding for the project. Proceeds from the book were used to establish the Kelowna Geology Committee Scholarship for Okanagan students pursuing a university education in the Earth Sciences

Because photographic skills are important in the Natural Sciences and because photography is one of my favorite hobbies, the annual Science Photography Contest was established in the early 1990s. Run with the help of the Earth and Environmental Sciences clubs rules change from year to year but usually involve categories such as Flora, Fauna, Landscapes and Photo-microscopy/photo-telescopy with voting during a get-together/party.

Considering my professional enthusiasm for petrology and mineralogy and that I teach Mineralogy at UBC O, it is not surprising that one of my interests is Gemology. I am particularly enthralled with colored varieties of diamond, corundum (ruby and sapphire), beryl (aquamarine and emerald), tourmaline (indicolite and rubellite) and topaz as well as the upper mantle minerals olivine (peridot) and diopside. Stones in my collection are usually shown to the Mineralogy and Introductory Earth and Environmental Sciences students.

Each year I deliver several talks to service clubs and usually visit two or more elementary, middle- or high schools to talk about the Earth sciences.


John Greenough’s Research Website


PhD, Memorial University of Newfoundland
MSc, Carleton University
BSc, Arcadia University

Research Interests & Projects

I specialize in using the trace element composition of mafic rocks to study the early history of the Earth and the processes that cause differentiation in recent basalt lava flows. My geochemical toolbox has also opened the door to projects in geoarchaeology (fingerprinting and sourcing artifacts) and wine trace element geochemistry. At the heart of many recent projects is an initial analysis of the data using an exploratory statistical technique called multidimensional scaling. This technique is completely new to geochemistry but provides a powerful tool for finding patterns in giant (many elements & samples) data sets.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Greenough, J.D., Dostal, J. and Mallory-Greenough, L.M. (in press). Mantle Component Fingerprints: Incompatible Element Ratios in French Polynesia Basalts. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences.

Eggers, N., Greenough, J.D. and Cernak, T. (2006). Classification of Okanagan Chardonnay Wines by origin using volatile components. Macqueen, R.W. and Meinert, L.D. (editors); Fine Wine and Terroir, The Geoscience Perspective; Geoscience Canada Reprint Series 9, pp. 183-192.

Greenough, J.D., Mallory-Greenough, L.M. and Fryer, B.J. 2005. Regional trace element fingerprinting of Canadian wines. Geology and Wine Series, Geoscience Canada, v. 32, pp. 129-137.

Greenough, J.D., Dostal, J. and Mallory-Greenough, L.M. 2005. Oceanic Island Volcanism II: Mantle Processes.  Invited review, Geoscience Canada, v. 32, pp. 77-90.

Greenough, J.D., Dostal, J. and Mallory-Greenough, L.M. 2005. Oceanic Island Volcanism I: Mineralogy and Petrology.  Invited Review, Geoscience Canada, v. 32, pp. 29-45.

Greenough, J.D. and Kyser, T.K. 2003. Contrasting Archean and Proterozoic lithospheric mantle: Isotopic evidence from the Shonkin Sag sill (Montana). Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 145, pp. 169-181.

Greenough, J.D. and Owen, J.V. 2002. A petrochemical study of layering in basalts at Henley Harbour, Labrador, using multidimensional scaling. Atlantic Geology, v. 38, pp. 161-175. Accepted and printed in 2003 despite 2002 date.

Owen, J.V., Longstaffe, F.J., and Greenough, J.D. 2003. Petrology of sapphirine granulite and associated sodic gneisses from the Indian Head Range, Newfoundland. Lithos, v. 68, pp. 91-114.

Taylor, V.F., Longerich, H.P., and Greenough, J.D. 2003. Multielement analysis of Canadian wines by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and multivariate statistics. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, v. 51, pp. 856-860.

Taylor, V.F., Longerich, H.P., and Greenough, J.D. 2002. Geology and Wine 5. Provenance of Okanagan Valley wines, British Columbia, using trace elements: promise and limitations. Geoscience Canada, v. 29, pp. 110-120.

Mallory-Greenough, L.M., Gorton, M.P., and Greenough, J.D. 2002. The source of basalt vessels in ancient Egyptian archaeological sites: a mineralogical approach. The Canadian Mineralogist, v. 40, pp. 1025-1046.

Mallory-Greenough, L.M., Baker, J. and Greenough, J.D. 2002. Preliminary fingerprinting of lithic artefacts composed of dacite from the B.C. Interior Plateau. Canadian Journal of Archaeology, v. 26, pp. 41-61.


Apologies, but no results were found.