Colville Hills Bedrock Mapping and Stratigraphic Studies

Regions: Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, geology, hydrocarbon exploration

Principal Investigator: Fallas, Karen M (2)
Licence Number: 15845
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2016 2015
Issued: Mar 15, 2016
Project Team: Dr. Robert MacNaughton (Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada), Dr. Pavel Kabanov (Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada), Dr. Sophie Gouwy (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Geological Survey of Canada)

Objective(s): To improve the public understanding of bedrock geology from the Colville Hills region across the Mackenzie and Peel plains to the Mackenzie Mountains, including folding and faulting, stratigraphic relationships, tectonic history, and petroleum generation.

Project Description: The objective of this research is to improve the public understanding of bedrock geology from the Colville Hills region across the Mackenzie and Peel plains to the Mackenzie Mountains, including folding and faulting, stratigraphic relationships, tectonic history, and petroleum generation. This objective includes sharing geoscience information with all interested parties through the production of bedrock geology maps and reports on petroleum potential.

This work will be an examination of bedrock outcrops within the northern Mackenzie Mountains, southwest of the Colville Hills study area. All work is done by small crews (2-3 people) working mainly on foot. Helicopters are used to set out crews, pick them up, and ferry them between outcrop sites. The work is mainly visual examination, description, measurement, and photography of outcrops. GPS units will locate the position of the outcrops on maps. Data resulting from the examination of outcrops will be used to plot maps and diagrams showing how rock units are distributed throughout the study area. The research team will also take rock samples from some outcrops, using hammers and chisels. Most are fist-sized but some are the size of one or two loaves of bread. Samples are studied in the laboratory to help understand the ages of the rock units and what rock units might contain oil and gas underground.

Information from this research will be of interest to Sahtu and Gwich'in communities and organizations, and to others (e.g., people interested in the local environment, petroleum exploration companies, researchers, land-use planners), and can assist in encouraging socially and environmentally responsible resource development.

This work may help local communities and organizations to understand what areas are or are not promising for oil and gas and/or mineral exploration. It will not necessarily lead to new exploration or economic development in the area but it can help communities understand their land’s resource potential and develop it wisely.

This project will provide an opportunity to share knowledge of the local geology and mapping techniques. Knowledge sharing could be enhanced with local school presentations.

All reports and maps prepared by the research team will be made publicly available for free download on NRCan's GeoGratis website: http://geogratis.gc.ca. In addition, members of the research team plan to make presentations at the annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum. Relevant reports and maps can also be mailed to the communities if they'd like printed copies. Community presentations could be arranged in response to local interest.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 12, 2016 to August 5, 2016.