Seismic and electromagnetic studies of the earth's crust: Great Slave Lake to Nahanni Butte

Regions: Dehcho Region, North Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, geology, seismology, tectonic movement, lithology, continental plates

Principal Investigator: Eaton, David (2)
Licence Number: 12867
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licenced Year(s): 1999 1996
Issued: Jun 10, 1996
Project Team: A. Jones (GSC), Fred Cook (U.of C.), Bill Padgham (DIANA)

Objective(s): To investigate the structure and composition of the earth's crust to a depth of 50 km or more along two corridors north and south of Great Slave Lake, and a third extending west to Nahanni Butte. These corridors traverse several significant crust features, such as the Archean/Proterozoic Boundary and the Great Slave Lake Shear Zone. The work is an important component of the National Lithoprobe Program, which is aimed at understanding the tectonic evolution of the North American Continent.

Project Description: Since the region of investigation (down to a depth of 50 km or more) is inaccessible, geophysical techniques will be used. One technique will be seismic reflection profiling, a method adapted from the oil industry. Large vehicles are use to generate seismic waves, which travel downwards and reflect off boundaries. These echoes are recorded by surface instruments, and the data are processed to produce an image. The electromagnetic component of the project will measure the natural variations in the earth's electrical and magnetic fields to determine the distribution of conductive material (e.g., fluids, graphite) in the earth's crust.