Obtaining a strength profile of an exemplary lower crustal fault segment — the Great Slave Lake shear zone, Northwest Territories Canada.

Regions: South Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, geology, earthquake

Principal Investigator: Dyck, Brendan (1)
Licence Number: 16363
Organization: Simon Fraser University
Licenced Year(s): 2018
Issued: Jul 13, 2018
Project Team: Catherine Goddard (PhD researcher, University of Oxford), Dr Lars Hanson (Researcher, University of Oxford), Dr Dave Wallis (Researcher, Utrecht University)

Objective(s): To determine the strength of the lower crust, and to investigate how stress varies across a typical lower crustal shear zone.

Project Description: The two main objectives for this project are to a) determine the strength of the lower crust, and b) investigate how stress varies across a typical lower crustal shear zone. These objectives will be achieved by examining a transect through an ancient lower-crustal shear zone.

Two weeks of fieldwork will be carried out at the Great Slave Lake Shear Zone to acquire the appropriate samples to explore stress across a fault zone. The majority of the time will be spent collecting small (hand-sized) rock samples. Key sites, based on previous mapping of the area have been identified. Only a small amount of rock material is required, and no trace of the activities will be left behind. After the field work is complete, detailed microstructural analysis will be undertaken at the University of Oxford. This information can then be used to determine the strength of the lower crust, which will help to make more accurate models of earthquake hazards.

The research team would be very happy to discuss NWT geology with local school groups. This is a short field project that could lead to a follow-up project with the NWT Geological Survey
One of the scientists in the group actively contributes to an Environmental Research Blog hosted by the University of Oxford. The blog articles written about this field work will be easily accessible to any individual in the NWT. This will be a great opportunity to show people (both local and indeed around the world) the wonderful geology and nature of the NWT. The research team certainly welcome any further opportunity to meet with and discuss the science with individuals and communities.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 31, 2018 to August 14, 2018.