Early Paleozoic Earth-surface environments in NWT

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, geology

Principal Investigator: Turner, Elizabeth C (10)
Licence Number: 15888
Organization: Laurentian University
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2016
Issued: May 30, 2016
Project Team: Edel O'Sullivan (PhD Candidate, Universitat Bern), Melanie Bouchard (MSc Candidate, Laurentian University), Katherine Hahn (Post-doctoral Fellow, Laurentian University)

Objective(s): To understand the distribution of marine environments in northwestern and northern Canada between 540 and 450 million years ago.

Project Description: The research proposed here is part of a long-term project aimed at understanding the distribution of marine environments in northwestern and northern Canada between 540 and 450 million years ago.

The research team will measure, describe, and sample rock layers that are of roughly the same age but in different locations to see how ancient Earth-surface environments varied geographically about 540 to 450 million years ago. The 2-person camp will be placed by helicopter, after which all work will be done on foot. Fist-sized samples will be collected using a rock hammer for later laboratory analysis. The research team will have no motorised equipment and no chemicals other than 10 litres of cooking fuel. The field data will contribute to a large project based on multiple areas, gathered in different parts of Northwest Territories over the last 5 years.

The activities proposed are brief, low-budget, and scientifically focussed. Long-term benefits may come from the production of modern geoscience knowledge, including resource potential, for a region that is geologically very poorly known and hence underexplored. The research team will be passing through small NWT communities to obtain field supplies. In terms of making this science accessible, in addition to publicly available science publications, the research products are frequently presented at Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, and the team recently participated in NWT-based science education initiatives.

The work will be published in international science journals, and the papers sent to Aurora Research Institute and the communities. The research team will present the completed project at Yellowknife Geoscience forum.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 13, 2016 to August 31, 2016.