Mackenzie Mountains bedrock mapping and stratigraphic studies

Regions: Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, geological mapping, geology, bedrock, natural resources

Principal Investigator: MacNaughton, Robert B. (7)
Licence Number: 16087
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2017
Issued: May 05, 2017
Project Team: Karen Fallas (Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada), Sofie Gouwy (Post-doctoral Fellow, Geological Survey of Canada), Theron Finley (Student research assistant, Geological Survey of Canada), Wing Cheun Chan (Student research assistant, Geological Survey of Canada), Michael Pope (Professor, Texas A&M University), TBD (Graduate student, Texas A&M University), Leanne Tingley (Assistant, Geological Survey of Canada), TBD (Wildlife monitor, TBD), TBD (Wildlife monitor, TBD), TBD (Wildlife monitor, TBD), Beth Fischer (Project Geologist, Northwest Territories Geological Survey), TBD (Assistant, Geological Survey of Canada), Suzanne Paradis (Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada), Jasmine Moertle (Graduate student, Laurentian University), Matt Leybourne (Professor, Laurentian University), Nancy Van Wagoner (Professor, Thompson Rivers University), Robert MacNaughton (Research Scientist/Party Chief, Geological Survey of Canada)

Objective(s): To improve the public understanding of bedrock geology of two regions of the Mackenzie Mountains, including folding and faulting, stratigraphic relationships, tectonic history, and economic mineralogy.

Project Description: The objective of this research is to improve the public understanding of bedrock geology of two regions of the Mackenzie Mountains, including folding and faulting, stratigraphic relationships, tectonic history, and economic mineralogy. This objective includes sharing geoscience information with all interested parties through the production and publication of bedrock geology maps and reports on the region's geology.

This work will be an examination of bedrock outcrops within the study area. All work is done by small crews (2-4 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. In many cases, the crews traverse the land, covering several kilometres in a day and making observations as they walk. In other cases, the teams may spend one or more days studying rocks in detail at a site, describing the vertical succession of rock types and how thick the rock types are. Global Positioning System (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 also take rock samples from some outcrops, using only 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, the composition of the rock units, and how the rock units extend from place to place.

Information from this research will be of interest to 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 promising or not for minerals 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.

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. Some years, members of the research team will make presentations at the annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum. Relevant reports and maps can also be mailed to the communities if they would like printed copies. Community presentations can be arranged in response to local interest.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 4, 2017 to August 8, 2017.